I awoke on Sunday morning to a number of texts, tweets, voicemails and messages on Facebook alerting me to a story on the Today program that was talking about chicken parmigiana and its alleged demise from pub menus in Melbourne. I did not see the story but I have read the newspaper “article” that seems to have formed its basis.
I have been asked about the story by a number of readers of this blog since I went back to work on Monday so thought I would put my opinion about the story and the premise up here for all to read.
Here is the article: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/how-instagram-is-killing-off-pub-favourite-chicken-parmagiana/story-fni0fit3-1227299704056
The premise of the article is this: a chef at the Tramway Hotel in North Fitzroy has removed the chicken parmigiana from his menu because, and I quote the article here, trendy pub patrons are demanding “food porn” that they can photograph and share with friends on Instagram.
This chef is the single source for the article. No other hotels seem to have been asked whether they are serving the chicken parmigiana. Therein lies the obvious folly of the headline because whilst Instagram has ostensibly lead to the removal of the Parma from one pub menu there is no evidence presented to suggest that any other venue has acted similarly.
The article is nothing more than hyperbole. Whilst I have found some pubs without chicken parmigiana on the menu during my search for Brisbane’s Best Parma those venues are venues that I have known of for years, eaten in and I know that they have never had a Parma on the menu.
Additionally, if the chicken parmigiana was really being killed out by Instagram or other social media sites would sites like this one actually have a readership at all? I know there are a number of other sites out there that are similarly looking at chicken parmigianas at various locations and there are a number of Instagram accounts that are focused on just chicken parmigianas.
That said, one further comment is worth making. Whilst I concede that I take a photo of the chicken parmigiana’s for this website I am doing so to add to the experience of reviewing the food. If you are really not going to go to a restaurant, a pub or a club for a meal because the food does not photograph well maybe it is time to have a long hard look at yourself. Eating out is about the food isn’t it? Or maybe I am just a bit old fashioned.