In Hong Kong, everyone knows the camera eats first. After all, no matter how delicious the food is at the table, have you truly had a meal until you've posted it to your respective Instagram/Facebook/Twitter feeds? The age of social media has been invaluable for helping restaurants increase their reach -- that said, how many times have you actually been turned off from visiting a place because of a failed food pic (think bad lighting, awkward angles and half-eaten scraps on the table) when scrolling through sites such as TripAdvisor or OpenRice?

Enter Dishtag -- a new food photo app which aims to bring back beautiful dish photography that celebrates chefs and their creations, a sort of streamlined digital hub for championing the visual language of food. Founded in 2015, the app was created by a husband-and-wife team: Adam Riley, who runs the finance and tech side of things; and his wife Raffaella Bichiri, a professional photographer who acts as creative director of the company.

[caption id="attachment_687138" align="alignnone" width="806"] Husband-and-wife team Raffaella Bichiri and Adam Riley are the founders of food photo app, Dishtag.[/caption]

The idea came to Riley during a meal out at a Michelin-starred restaurant in 2014, when one of his companions took a haphazard picture of the restaurant's signature dish of lobster and caviar and posted it with the uncouth hashtag #caviarb*tches. "This was most likely the chef’s lifetime work and it was just degraded by a person on social media," says Riley. "The bad pic and the vulgar hashtag not only disrespected the restaurant, but the craft and dedication of the chef that was behind the dish."

Post-meal, he was struck by an idea: create a new social platform where users could tag their photo to a dish, to be linked to an 'official' photo of the dish and a broader 'visual menu' curated by photography pros -- a one-stop digital shop for diners to browse all the beautiful offerings on a restaurant's menu. Half-social media platform, half-content agency for food photography, Dishtag now has 100-plus Hong Kong restaurants and counting, with the newest version of the app launching this month.

The duo are not just passionate about giving the beautiful dishes of chefs the respect they deserve -- they're also focused on the sustainable impact of their business and Dishtag's potential to contribute to a future of paper-less menus. Below, we chat with Riley and Bichiri about Dishtag's mission to shape the future of food media, social sharing and restaurant marketing.

The post Move over Instagram, there’s a new food photo app in town appeared first on Lifestyle Asia.
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