• Have you ever heard of Saganaki? Kunafa? Or Bubble & Squeak? Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I knew my meat and potatoes well. And while childhood favorites like Pierogies and Schnitzel will always have a place in my heart, the past few years have opened my eyes to a world of dishes I never knew existed.

    Five years ago, I traveled to Japan and Korea, where I was surprised to realize how many dishes I’d never heard of before -- dishes like Okonomiyaki and Tteokbokki. A few weeks later, I woke up with the idea to create a “Field Guide for Food” -- a pocket-sized guide to interesting dishes from around the world.

    The book idea evolved into an app idea, and Foodspotting was born. I teamed up with Ted Grubb and Soraya Darabi, and in January 2010, we launched the first app for finding and sharing great dishes. Foodspotters shared dishes from around the world, from our childhood hometowns in Pennsylvania to food capitals like Tokyo and Istanbul.

    Millions of food photos later, the time seemed right to create this book, and today, we're excited to announce that our friends at Chronicle Books and our beloved editor (and donut expert) April Walters have brought The Foodspotting Field Guide to life.

    So how many dishes in this post do you recognize? And how many have you tried? If you’re curious about dishes like these or want to learn more about all 75, then this interactive field guide and food journal is for you. Or if you think you’ve already tried them all, then take The Foodspotting Field Guide Challenge and tell the world:

    Get the book & see how many dishes you've already tried:
    http://www.foodspotting.com/book

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  • Happy January, Foodspotters!

    January is one of our favorite months at Foodspotting—we joined OpenTable a year ago in January 2013, we launched Foodspotting in January 2010, and the idea behind Foodspotting was conceived on January 2009:

    On MLK Day 2009, I woke up with the idea to create a "field guide for food"—a visual, bird guide-esque handbook for discovering and identifying interesting dishes. Today, we're excited to announce that The Foodspotting Field Guide is on its way!

    This interactive field guide, brought to you by Chronicle Books, features 75 dishes we thought everyone should know about—from Okonomiyaki to Saganaki—illustrated by photos from local spotters like you. (You'll hear from us personally if your photo was included!)

    The Foodspotting book has been a labour of love, especially for April Walters, who was heading up community at Foodspotting while composing this beautiful book, so we hope you'll love it as much as we do! Thanks for making it possible.

    If you want to be one of the first to get your hands on it...

    Pre-order on Amazon
    Pre-order on Barnes and Noble
    Pre-order from Chronicle Books

    More to come in 2014!

    Alexa (and April)

    The book, inside and out + some early sketches from way back in 2009 (Find more here!)

    • 7 months ago.
      Nice to see #adobo being featured! :)
    • 7 months ago.
      Just bought it!
    • 7 months ago.
      I'm in!
    • 6 months ago.
      That looks like pure awesomeness. Thanks!
  • So far, we've shared Foodspotting tips from restaurant professionals. All of their advice has been awesome, but we wanted to bring in a different kind of food-pro perspective for the third round of tips. Mee-Sun Yuk is the Senior Product Manager for iOS at OpenTable. When she isn't working on the incredibly cool iOS 7 OpenTable app, Mee-Sun is cooking, eating and discovering all kinds of amazing dishes. Her passion for both technology & food shines through in her photography and in this set of tips.


    1. Choose your seat wisely

    You can improve the quality of your food photos even before the food comes out. The best food photos benefit from more natural light, so I always request a table by a window if possible. Also, try to make sure you're not sitting in between the light and your table, or you'll end up with some shadowy shots.


    2. Find a new perspective

    Remember that you're not confined to your seat and your beeline view of the dish. Move your hand position with each photo you take to see what makes the food look the most delicious. It takes some practice with aim, but try raising your camera up and over dishes to get a birds' eye view.


    3. Get handsy

    Sometimes your friends may be impatient to start eating, so use it to your advantage. Get an action shot of how people interact with the dish - especially for dishes that you can really play with, like noodles or meat grilled at the table.


    4. Put together the perfect bite

    A great way to get creative (and hungry!) is to grab your fork and dive in. Focusing the camera on a close up bite brings a great contrast with the rest of the photo. It can also help you show more detail about the dish than you would normally.


    Posted by Spot in Spotlight on October 18, 2013
  • We love discovering great dishes and the places where you can enjoy them, which is why we are super excited to share OpenTable for iOS 7 with the Foodspotting community. The OpenTable app now has new search features and a design that allows restaurants to shine, making it easier than ever to find and book places to eat. Be sure to check out restaurant profile pages – many of them feature Foodspotting photos!

    New features include:

    * Streamlined search: Change the date, time, or party size in line and see results immediately
    * Focus on location: Enter an address or city­ to find restaurants nearby
    * New ways to explore: Browse restaurants by top-rated categories or cuisines
    * Easy access to more info: Swipe left and right to see all available times, and pull down on a restaurant page to see Foodspotting photos
    * Points tracking: See your progress toward earning your next Dining Cheque


    New features are also available on OpenTable for iOS 6 and iPad. Have a question or feedback to share? Please email iOShelp@opentable.com.

    Download OpenTable for iOS 7

  • When we started Foodspotting four years ago, we set out to make finding good food as easy as looking in a bakery window. Foodspotting for iOS 7 brings us one big step closer towards that vision. Our iOS 7 redesign is more than skin deep -- we've completely reimagined and streamlined Foodspotting to let your photos shine (4 million of them now!). To do so, we looked at how people actually use Foodspotting and put all of our food finding features where you’d naturally expect to find them.

    Be the first to download it!

    Here’s where you can now find…

    Filters & Places
    Find dishes by place or by category using our new smart search. Look for new categories like “Find dishes at places you can reserve (on OpenTable).”

    Location & Map
    Find dishes anywhere in the world by tapping the green bar and setting your location. You can enter a city or address, or pan and zoom the map.

    About This Dish & About This Place
    Scroll left and right to discover great dishes. If a dish piques your interest, simply scroll down to learn how to obtain it.

    Explore and Activity
    Toggle between discovering nearby dishes and discovering dishes from friends with one tap (upper left), and we'll remember which you last used.

    What's Missing?
    While we were able to give almost every part of Foodspotting a new home, we had to put a few features on hold to make this redesign possible, so if Guides or Hide are important you, you might not want to upgrade. We're working on adding a few other features back as well.

    We hope you enjoy this lighter, smarter Foodspotting app as much as we do. We look forward to your feedback via Facebook and Twitter.

    Download Foodspotting for iOS 7

    • 11 months ago.
      Looks good, hopefully the Windows Phone app will have some great new features too!
    • 8 months ago.
      Everyone is saying not to upload this new version. Have the bugs been fixed?
    • 7 months ago.
      The only big one we know of is people having problems logging in with Facebook due to changes on their end. To fix, you need to 1. Go to "Settings" on your iPhone; 2. Find "Facebook" > 3. Turn "Foodspotting" off and on again. We hope you'll give us another chance in 2014!
    • 6 months ago.
      Thank you, I updated it. It's not as user friendly as the old version, but I'm slowly getting used to it. :)
  • Many of you share more than photos of food on Foodspotting, which is why our second set of spotting tips & tricks are from our friend Daniel Kent, bartender/cocktail savant at Locanda Vini e Olii in Brooklyn, NY. Daniel's advice touches on color, presentation and why it's always important to highlight the "bouquet" of a cocktail.


    The art of the cocktail changes the act of drinking. It’s not as simple as opening a bottle of wine or beer and pouring it into a glass. Its color, presentation and bouquet are all aspects of the cocktail that are manufactured to give a unique beverage experience. A sophisticated cocktail will deliver all three of these elements in unison. Capturing these parts of the experience are essential in publishing a perfect cocktail photograph.


    Color

    A bolder, fuller cocktail with a lot of body, should always capture a deeper color scheme. Think of a Manhattan - there’s nothing about a Manhattan that shouts fresh; it has a brooding, burgundy hue that mirrors the wood of the whiskey, the rich aromatics of the vermouth and the tint of bitters. Likewise for fresh cocktails, the color should match the palette. On our menu the Sage Jermaine, the Gin Pompelmino and the Apricot Spritz are exemplary of this concept. Photographed is the Sage Jermaine made with grapefruit infused Spring44 gin, house sage bitters and house elderflower liqueur


    Presentation

    Taking a picture of a finished drink in its glass has its appeal, however, each cocktail has a certain method, measured ingredients, and tedious steps that define its character and give it life. All the parts of the cocktail experience- chilling the glasses, stirring, shaking, muddling, and the pour- are different for each drink and make it enticing for the viewer to watch the process. Photographed is the Apricot Spritz made with Prosecco, Campari and apricot nectar


    Bouquet

    The bouquet of a cocktail is one of the most effective ways to convey taste. The mist of a lemon or an orange as finishing touch on a drink can trigger the most powerful memory association. If you’re photographing a glass of wine, you can really only describe the bouquet. Using a similar way of describing your cocktail bouquet, pay particular attention to any garnishes used in the drink, which are a quick and easy to spot in a photograph. Photographed is the Manhattan made with Old Overholt Rye, Amaro Segesta, muddled orange, brown sugar and Peychaud’s bitters

    After all of this, let us not forget what drinking is all about: being social. Take shots with your friends, partake in obscure and fancy cocktails and enjoy yourself. Be the person your cocktail would want you to be.

  • Head down to the Seaport and share a dish you spotted with #SEEFOODNY by August 31st for a chance to win $500 to spend at SmorgasBar.

    See rules and regulations >


    The New York landmark launched a mix of new retail and dining options, movie nights and live events this summer as part of its SEE / CHANGE campaign.

    Included in the line-up is Brooklyn Flea’s SmorgasBar. It features a rotating collection of a local food and drink vendors, like Dog, Blue Marble Ice Cream, Milk Truck Grilled Cheese, Red Hook Lobster Pound and more.

    So, if you’re in NYC and a) like spotting food and/or b) want to win $500, head down to South Street Seaport!

    Check out some of the recent #SEEFOODNY entries >

    Posted by Spot in Contests on August 20, 2013
  • We always love a good tip or trick when it comes to spotting food. Getting the right angle, working with dim lighting or knowing which part of the dish to focus on isn’t always as easy as pie. So, we decided to reach out to our friends in the food & drink industry for their insider-advice.

    First up is Luke McKinley, Independent Photographer & Videographer and Director of Drink at Ravish in Seattle, WA. He shared with us these tips & tricks, along with some beautiful spots he took at Ravish.


    1. Use light creatively:
    Good food photos use light to make a dish, drink, or table look welcoming and delicious. Use available light to your advantage; frequently, light from a nearby window is enough to perfectly illuminate a dish. Light that hits your subject from the side, ideally at a 45-degree angle, brings out textures and casts attractive shadows on your subject. Lighting your subject from behind (i.e. with the window behind the plate) can create dramatic silhouettes of food and drinks and illuminates steam. Use a flash on your camera if you want to see detail in your subject, but make sure it's appropriate to use flash in the restaurant before you do. Not daytime? Candles cast cool shadows, or use a restaurant's lamps to your advantage.


    2. Composition:
    Think clearly about what you want your food photo to convey. Do you want to show a picture of delicious food. Get close and let the dish occupy the entire frame. Do you want to showcase a more expansive view of your dining experience? Consider an overhead view shot of the table, or include the restaurant in the background.


    3. Creative content:
    Once you've decided on what you're going to include in the frame, think creatively about how to capture it. Attention-grabbing photos of food are effective because they either 1) convey vivid, mouth-watering detail; or 2) show food and drink in new, creative ways. Dining is an experience, so let your food composition express it fully and authentically. Capture your friend scooping a heaping forkful of that leek and mushroom quiche. Let your food photos tell a story so that their viewers are hungry for more.


    Curious about tricks that make soup look exciting? Want tips for spotting salad? Let us know what tips & tricks you're interested in with a comment below!