Wednesday, December 07, 2005


My Blog Went Up In Flames! Round Up

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gather 'round for the most fantastic, stupendous, outrageous show in town.

Step right up and take a peek, but be warned, what you will see may astound you, it may delight you, but it also may very well make you uneasy. Fear not! Paramedics are on hand. So pay your penny and come into my tent, to cast your eyes on the bizarre, the outlandish, the positively overexposed "My Blog Went Up in Flames!" (A one-off event calling for the worst of the worst food photos) But only if you dare...

Let's start with a jolt, Crayfish Channeling Dali from the darling Ms. Squeezeweasel of Gastronomy Domine

Come a little closer and read what she has to say "Would you put this in your mouth? Apologies for the poor focus - I was under a degree of stress. This was part of a truly dreadful meal at a restaurant which I ended up not writing up, because I couldn't think of a single nice thing to say about it. Four of us ate, and each of us had the same sauces drizzled on our very different (and mostly deep-fried or baked until good and dead - the crayfish were an abberation) food; there was a horrendous gloppy thing that was meant to be a balsamic reduction, I think (I suspect it was caramel deglazed with some red wine vinegar), a green thing (words fail me) and a red thing which I suspect was Thai sweet chili sauce out of a bottle. These three sauces were sploshed over the (frozen, and, I think, soaked in sugary water) crayfish, over an arrangement with halloumi, over a (frozen) fishcake and over a dark grey, gristly steak. The poor sod with the fishcake was also rewarded with nature's most vinegary and butter-free beurre blanc. It was like the shallot vinegar you put on oysters.

The second photo was taken on the way out of the same restaurant. I didn't dare review it in case they hunted me down and drowned me in a spare barrel; they started making a very loud fuss when they saw me taking pictures."

In case that photo is a tad too small, and you just have to know, the writing says "Food Only" Speaks for itself, doesn't it.

(Personal note: I have to just say thank you for that photo, I almost passed out from laughing...)

Are you amazed yet? If not, this should change your tune, it's "Preznit Giv Me Turkee." A peek into Cookie Crumb's Thanksgiving...Eek! "It's Thanksgiving dinner in the dining room of the senior community where my parents live, and there wasn't a green vegetable to be found in the entire buffet line. You are looking at (clockwise, from "noon") a hunk of roasted turkey the carver couldn't be bothered to slice thinly; a pockmarked chunk of sweet potato (I suspect a raisin was embedded in that scary hole); creamed carrots with an overdose of dried thyme -- actually the only herbal flavors on the whole plate; and a scoop of mashed potatoes drowning in a sploosh of decidedly non-turkey gravy (onion was the predominant flavor).

Lighting: Oh, just say "ambient old folks home."
Backstory: See above.
Appetizingness: You judge. I brought sandwich baggies in my purse, in
case there was something good to smuggle home. They remain pristine,
No way was I going to blog this mess. But I sure hope you will.

Along with this one (title unknown) there is this next one from D. at Culiblog, and it's our piece de resistance, from the always beautifully shot Culiblog but due to the somewhat graphic nature, I'm going to simply leave it as two links...view at your own discresion. (They are pictures of an animal being skinned.) Now that is what I call burning down the blog!

The Unprofessional Chef says of this Provencal dinner "I really don't understand why a lot of restaurants around the world insist on very very dim lighting.... Try as I might, I couldn't take a decent picture of the food. Since it was so dark, I attempted to take this picture of gazpacho with the camera flash which made it even worse (and me horribly conspicuous in the fancy
restaurant). In the end, I had to borrow a penlight from the wait staff and shine a teeny tiny light in order to illuminate the dish (just barely).The pictures in that entry were generally all bad but this was the worst. It looked very unappetising but tasted very nice though. I'd give this photo the title of 'Gooey sludge with Green Muck'.

An excellent title. Nothing says delicious like low lit impossible to identify foodstuffs. This is a strong contender for the blue ribbon indeed!

Don't you all just NEED to know what restaurant this came from? Maybe with a sugar sweet pretty please, she will whisper it in our (comment section) ears...

F. at Blog Appetit lets us know that "I thought of declining, since there are no bad food photos, there are just photos you don't know how someone else managed to take on your camera! One is of some bread in France. It was too early in the morning for wine, even in Paris, but the shot looks like I already had a few. The other is of Banana Blossom Salad at the Hotel Metropole cooking class in Hanoi. It was before I learned my camera had a "cuisine" setting that cut back on that glare!" I for one am thrilled she took part...

And here from the always whimsical Mrs. D at Belly Timber a whole slew of shots that will thrill and delight, especially if you want a little hand in your food. "We couldn't resist and scrounged up a few lovely photos for your Flamey blog com competition. What fun!" An excellent addition to this sideshow indeed. (And does thay hand not look like a bottom? Why yes, it does!)

From far off Malaysia on the excellent site Tham Jiak our hostess tells us "I came up with my concoction, which was on the spur to feed a hungry guy who just woke up from a deep sleep, I promptly serve him on the newspaper he was reading (if you look closely it is in the background) and had a quick snap with my poor quality digital camera plus bad lighting from my dining area, you get the idea how this is going to turn out. Well, I did not fuss to take a better picture when I saw my dear boy with a spoon on one hand and a fork on the other, looking wild eyed at the food with saliva dripping from his mouth (alright I might be exaggerating a little, ok, maybe a lot), and so I chuck the PDA away and let him dig into the food. Well, so here goes to the ugliest food picture I have ever taken but yet given thumbs-up by a hungry guy (well, when you’re hungry, your thumb is bound to come up eh), but trust me, I tasted it and it can well fight those out there, except maybe a tad too sweet. (I’m such a food critic, *roll eyes)."

The ever industrious Andrew at Spittoon, joined in too, despite a lack of bad shots. "I never keep any bad photos - have taken loads though. But The more I look at these two the more I think it was a really really bad move to post the...thing is a foodie blogger (and great food photographer) i correspond with regularly loves them..." I have say, of the three he posted, I like them too.

Over there at Passionate Nonchalance (excellent blog title!) Aria has posted a vivid shot of Lentil Chestnut soup..."I know what your thinking. Somethings not right, right? Is it the tannish beige color? Mmmm beige. The prison cafeteria consistency? Mmmm prison. What, you say you don’t eat liqified zombie flesh? Maybe something nice and grey to drizzle on top? My mistake was putting too much of the finished soup into the blender. I wasn’t paying attention and spaced out adding more and more untill there was no turning back."

The lovely Lady Amalthea at Noshes Thoughts and Reves brings us a photo of Duck with Quatres Epices and Coriander Seeds. "The boy was in the States, it was summer and I was getting into reading food blogs. I found this reipce...and made it for myself" Read the rest of her fantastic post here.

Next up, the vibrant, the glowing, the positivly pink, Persian cherry and lamb pillau, called
Abalu pollow from Tigers and Strawberries, a thought provoking and lovely blog even with such daring shots. She wants you to know "It is a fantastic dish, made with fresh or dried sour cherries, little lamb meatballs, either almonds or pistachios and basmati rice.And when it is
finished cooking, it looks lovely and tastes wonderful. However, at the stage at which this photograph was taken, which was after the cherries were cooked in syrup, the meatballs were browned and the rice had been sauteed in the lamb fat, but before the cherry juices and chicken broth was added--the pillau looks rather less than appealing. I did post a picture of the finished product on my blog--that is the photograph where it is fully cooked. It isn't so hot, either. The depth of field is too shallow and I realized as I looked at the very pink-shaded red rice that I had forgotten to add the saffron or turmeric--which helps give the rice a more scarlet rather than rose color. As for the lighting--it isn't too bad, wonder of wonders. But the cold light of the flash did its best to make the little meatballs apear grey." As a final thought, she says (and I heartily agree!) "Thankfully, my ability to take decent food photographs has improved over the past few months."

Faboo Barrett from Too Many Chefs was happy to share, and I wonder who wouldn't love "A lovely bowl of Wrightwood Squid.

Second is the legendary artichoke and spinach pizza, the photo for which was SO bad we replaced it with one of Soupy Sales."

This photo here, well, it wasn't exactly an entry, but since the dashing and daring intrepid world traveller Brett, of the extra-licious In Praise Of Sardines, posted a recipe for Slow Roasted Cauliflower with Pounded Anchovies. Not exactly a contender for a bad photo award, but as we (almost all) know, cauliflower is just plain hard to get a purdy shot of, and since he mentioned this contest in relation to the picture, well, I just went and swiped it. So there.

And now my dear patrons, before you go on with your day, one last dazzling, dizzying compilation of catastrophes. Behold the collage of shots that Shutterbug Sam had the time to compile.

She managed to cover every photo faux pas, from too much flash to odd composition, blurry foods and just plain unappetizing. Kudos dear Sam, you have out done us all!

So a huge thank you to you all, for taking the time to come by and view this one off Meme, and of course to all the people who sent in photos...and remember, even the most sensational shots most likely have a ugly cousin sitting somewhere on a hard drive.

Now, who do you think should take home the blue ribbon?


This took a crazy long time to compile, so if I made any mistakes, I am sorry, and please do email me to let me know.

Oh, and Kate at The Accidental Hedonist is taking nominations for the Food Blog Awards, stop by and check it out.

Check out this site for tips on how to take good food photos!

The Pentax Optio S55 Digital Camera comes with a food setting

Some of these pictures are better then my best ones. I think I still have a lot to learn!
You did a huge job! Thanks. What a hoot to see all those flubs, and I agree with magictofu that I'd actually be lucky to get some as good as that.
(Small error in your link to my blog, however. It takes you to Atrios, not me. I should explain, for those of you who don't read Atrios, that he made a hilarious parody of a punishment issue at a school when a kid said something about his gay mom. Atrios morphed the incident with Pres. Bush's impromptu trip to Iraq for Thanksgiving two years ago. A classic.)
Thanks again, Rachael. I recuse myself from voting on the "winner."
I have like, NO clue how I did that. I just changed it, but I feel like the biggest ditz, since I apparently never even checked that link. Sorry bout that! LOL.
Thanks for putting up the pictures! They are hilarious.

The restaurant is in Singapore - Blu at Shangri-La Hotel, but it was a guest chef cooking that evening - the 2 Michelin star Laurent Taurridec from Lei Mouscardins in St Tropez in France. Somehow I'm pretty convinced his food will photograph a lot prettier in glorious Cote d'Azur sunshine then it did on the dark and gloomy night when I dined!
Thanks for sharing my uglies!
I got into an argument with a really good friend who kept trashing my photos on the site.

I think I was most upset because he was right on.

Great idea!
I vote for the dark photo on the left submitted by Mrs. D at Belly Timber. Eek, scary!

But the cabbage wrapped dish (which I believe is from culiblog?) was an extremely close second!
Passionate Nonchalent's soup is making me feel sick. The desaturated pink lumpiness against the red bowl makes me want to wretch, and if I did end up doing so, I bet I could go ahead and pass it off as a bowl of chestnut lentil soup.

She gets my vote
SAM! I think that comment should win! So graphic! LOL.
Thanks for using my horrible photo; have to say, though; that cabbage wrapped thing wins hands down.
I see you picked the 'good'photo out of the three on my post. The sludige stuff in the blurred metal things was too much for you I expect!

cheers for a great meme
Very cute round-up. Well done.
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