The Big Data of #FoodPorn Trends

Obsessed by chocolate, keen on coffee and mad about prawns, gourmands from 222 countries in the world share their photos on foodie social networks. An enormous quantity, equivalent to 62,000 shots every day, if we only count those carrying the #foodporn hashtag[1], the most widespread on the subject of food, in the captions written by users.

It is no coincidence that the photos shared by these users are increasingly referred to in scientific ambits as big data: as in other spheres of everyday life (health services, politics, traffic flows, etc.) their analysis enables the extrapolation of fundamental information for innovating and improving the way we live.

Just like the researchers of the Qatar Computing Research Institute[2], who spent months collecting data relating to food pictures posted on Instagram[3] in order to identify interesting information on the most pleasurable trends worldwide, those of fine dining of course, for the contemporary gratification of taste, sight and smell.

The Big Data of #FoodPorn Trends

The research sparked by these analyses (get the details here[4]) has taken this opportunity to probe some of our favourite foods, along with the types of dietary choices made by different countries and social classes, while attempting to debunk a die–hard myth on social networks: that foodporn has a weakness for the more fetish–like aspects of eating, in the form of high–calorie foods that are bad for us, with an excess of fat and sugar.

Does the shared enjoyment of local specialities and delicacies really lead to an unhealthy way of eating? The answer, needless to say, has amazed everyone.

Dr Yelena Mejova, who is in charge of the project, has analysed the big data of around 10 million images posted by 1.7 million users. Their geolocalisation has led to the discovery that some countries are especially fond of certain recipes. Those who particularly like to share pictures of typical dishes and describe where the photos have been taken largely come from the US (most of the shots are concentrated here), following by Italy and the UK. The choice of the dishes themselves is more variegated and differs from one nation to another.

The Big Data of #FoodPorn Trends

In Argentina, for instance, the favourite treat is dulce de leche[5], cream of milk and golden caramelised sugar, along with merienda, the equivalent of afternoon tea in English–speaking countries. In the US, many national dishes are favourite #foodporn: from coastal prawns to the ubiquitous bacon[6], not to mention tacos and Japanese sushi. In Canada they love sharing pictures of poutine (ordinary fries, but served with sauce and cheese). This brings us to the great international classics: #pizza is everyone's idea of food porn, #coffee continues to be the most frequently tagged beverage, but #wine tops the charts among alcoholic drinks.

By geolocalising the culinary photos and their associated tags, researchers were also able to tell in which countries (at least on social networks) healthier eating habits are being promoted. North European countries and the Netherlands in particular like to eat healthily: here the online chats mainly refer to #eatclean.

Conversely, three countries stand out for their fondness and widespread use of tags relating to foodstuffs that have very little to do with counting calories, revealing a preference for tasty recipes: the countries in question are Brazil, Argentina and France, dominated, respectively, by thousands of #gordice and #gourmandise.

After all, as history's most renowned expert of taste, Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, used to say as far back as 1700, “Gourmandism is one of the main links uniting society.”

The Big Data of #FoodPorn Trends

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  1. ^ #foodporn hashtag (
  2. ^ Qatar Computing Research Institute (
  3. ^ food pictures posted on Instagram (
  4. ^ get the details here (
  5. ^ dulce de leche (
  6. ^ ubiquitous bacon (
  7. ^ Follow Fine Dining Lovers on Facebook (

Not Just Design: Kristiane Kegelmann's Edible Sculptures | Gallery

Not Just Design: Kristiane Kegelmann's Edible Sculptures | Gallery

Kristiane Kegelmann[1] is a Berlin-based food designer[2] who aims to interpret classic patisserie in a brand new and unrestrained format: her sweet edible sculptures, half cakes half pieces of art,  involve a synergy of colours, shapes, fancy textures and exceptional flavour combinations.

Speaking of her unique work, Kristiane commented: "Do edible pieces always have to be consumed the same way? Do they persistently have to have an equal, unmistakable outward appearance? Nowadays aesthetics and ambience are strongly focused on the sense of taste".

Intrigued by this approach, Fine Dining Lovers asked Kristiane Kegelman to tell us more about her work, contemporary cake design and inspiration. And if you want to enjoy her creations, don't miss the gallery at the top of the page!

Where does the inspiration for your creations come from?
I get my inspiration from seeing color- or shape-combinations in everyday life. For the fillings I use some special flavors as well, I feel it’s interesting to use vegetables together with chocolate, herbs … Sometimes when I eat something, it hits me how it would taste in combination with chocolate or a creamy filling. Like ginger-white chocolate filling in combination with a cucumber-mint confiture with gin, or a fine grated salted cashew nut crumble with lemongrass creme and an elder-heart.

Of course, every fine dining chef has used sweet things in combination with salty ingredients or vegetables. But I think, it’s important to have a feel for it, using only the best ingredients, so you can create the ultimate taste. In terms of food, so many flavors have been combined, so many incredible desserts (not only these) have been placed beautifully on the plate. But I guess with my installations I can create double pleasure, first for the eye, then for the senses. Sometimes the filling influences the outward design, sometimes exactly the opposite.

What is your speciality/signature cake/design?
I think my signature design is that I use a lot of graphic shapes and clear lines in combination with matching colors and more structure than kitsch squiggles. You could almost say, my edible pieces are plain. But in their clear and clean outward appearance, my sculptures have a very complicated construction and when you use clear lines and patterns you have to work with precision. So if you're not a perfectionist, it’s not worth a try. I guess, every architect or designer would agree with that :) To plan and convert the installations is connected with a lot of work, imagination, patience and sensitivity.

What challenges/rewards do you encounter when working on a new cake design/cake project?
That's the best part! Because every project is a new challenge for me. I never do a piece twice, every time it’s an individual creation. After I work with a lot of complicated construction and creamy consistencies, very often I have to evolve new ways of translating a picture, which has developed in my head, into practice. That’s always a challenge.

I learn a lot and in the end there is something that no-one has seen before in this edible context. Usually, I am never totally happy at the end, but I guess, that’s how it is in creative business. Finally, you always see, what you could have done better :) And with some self-reflection you grow.

Can you tell us about any specific techniques or equipment you use to create your cakes?
I think, what is special about my working process, is that I work more like a designer, than as a pattissière. Of course the fillings and bases I produce with the same techniques, but my installations always involve elements, who I build specifically for the installation to complete the whole setting. Like getting some material, sometimes I pour concrete blocks to arrange it on top or every now and then I work with lights.

Once or twice I created installations, that were hanging on the walls, so I had to plan and build (or let someone build, if it wasn't possible for me) a „frame“ for that. Nothing is prohibited, so I can work with whatever is hygienically ok to be around food. I am running from the material place for a curtain to a tasting with a client to my Laser-Partner, who lasers some special boxes, that I have designed for the next tasting. At most of the events I will be there to present my edible installation. It’s very exciting to be part of the whole process and see at the end how the recipient reacts. That makes me happy.

How do you manage to incorporate design and technology into your cakes to keep them relevant and contemporary?
I incorporate my own taste for design and colors into my cakes and then I have to figure out how to get to the finished sculpture. Of course, technology these days is a great help. When I create smaller new moulds, the 3D-Printer makes it possible to print a perfect prototype. I can even build my own chocolate moulds and with some connections you can find a place to make my personal shapes in plastic moulds.

Are there any future trends that you can forsee in the cake/patisserie industry?
I think the trend of good quality and clean food in general will grow even more in the coming years. To keep up with the high standard of taste is very important. And I notice at every event, the guests are surprised that it tastes great, when it looks that interesting. Not even most of the traditional wedding cakes taste good. To have after the visual pleasure the upfront taste as well is definitely something, that people remember.

What is there still to come from you? Any future projects you would like to share with us?
I will surely be part of bigger projects in the future. My own exhibitions and even more complex installations. Every day we learn so much and get new ideas, it would be sad if there weren't so much process. At the moment I am working a lot on creating installations, that are built on many small pieces, so at an event no-one has to cut the cakes, but people take a piece and the sculpture still exists in a clean and beautiful way, it changes but doesn’t suffer for it.

To find techniques to make different types of designs and shapes possible, in my style, is a new challenge. 


  1. ^ Kristiane Kegelmann (
  2. ^ food designer (

Waiting for Latin America's 50 Best 2016

Waiting for Latin America's 50 Best 2016

Coming Soon: Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants

This week we have been anxiously awaiting the kickoff of the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants[1] ceremony in Mexico City. The list for 2016 will be revealed in a special ceremony tomorrow, Monday 26 of September at 8:45pm CDT. The entire event will be live streamed on Fine Dining Lovers.

Click here [2]to watch live and not miss any of the action!

Eating in Bahia

Ahead of the release of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list we went on a culinary tour of Salvador de Bahia, one of Brazil's most charming cities.

Join us as we discover the best places to eat steak, cool off with cocktails and dance the night away in this multi-cultural hub.

Read all about it here[3].


Also this week we ventured into the world of popular hashtags in social media.

So what is the most popular #foodporn around the world? The answers may surprise you!

Check them out now[4].

Bread Science

Are you a bread lover? Then reading our guide to homemade bread is a must.

We breakdown the science of bread and how to achieve a perfectly golden crust on your loaves.

Get the full scoop here[5].


  1. ^ Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants (
  2. ^ Click here (
  3. ^ Read all about it here (
  4. ^ Check them out now (
  5. ^ Get the full scoop here (

Claude Troisgros, a Chef Always Moving Forward

Heir to one of the oldest and most influential gastronomic lineages in the world, chef Claude Troisgros is a French native who now calls Brazil his home. Away from the structure of French cuisine, he forged his own style of cuisine in Rio de Janeiro.

His Franco-Brazilian cooking is full of freedom and unexpected flavors. Its hallmark was the technique of mixing fruits and vegetables in the same dish. Troisgros values ingredients from the Amazon, regional recipes from Brazil and has even developed a network of suppliers with small producers and organic farmers. His dishes are a reflection of his cheerful personality and his recipes turn every day ingredients into sublime dishes. The chef takes something as humble as dried sugar cane juice and turns it into a delectable glaze to accompany an exquisite dish of foie gras and heart of palm at his restaurant Olympe.

Claude Troisgros, a Chef Always Moving Forward

What began as a small business in just a few square meters and two clients has blossomed into a career studded with four restaurants that Troisgros runs with his 35-year old son Thomas, who is also a chef and was born in Brazil. Throughout his career the chef has opened, closed and transformed restaurants but his toughness has been an essential ingredient. His son admits "I admire many things about my father, but especially his vision of the future, always reinventing himself and creating new concepts, and always moving forward."

Fine Dining Lovers spoke to chef Claude Troisgros ahead of his trip to Mexico City, where the French chef will receive the 2016 Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award[1] as part of the celebration of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants[2]. The award will be given during the ceremony, held today - Monday 26 September at 8.45 PM and will be livestreamed here[3].

It will celebrate Troisgros’ 40-year career but mostly his outstanding contribution to the gastronomy of his adopted country Brazil. "It is an honor for me and I thank the industry professionals and especially to customers who have been faithful for 38 years to my restaurant Olympe. It is a total joy and emotion that moves me, the Lifetime Achievement Award is very close to my heart. "

Claude Troisgros, a Chef Always Moving Forward

How did you manage the cultural and social shock during your early years in Río de Janeiro?
It was hard in the beginning. Rio had no culinary tradition in 1980 in the sense of high gastronomy as we understand today. As I mingled easily in the culture of other countries I adapted very well in Rio and was able to explore the varieties of products offered in the markets. Besides, I was welcomed as a son by the cariocas (Brazilian women).

When did you realize you didn’t desire to return to France?
At the end of my 2-year contract with Le Pre Catelan I returned to the family restaurant in Roanne. But… I missed Brazil enormously. Roanne was too small for me then. So I returned to Rio without a job and opened my first restaurant in the city called Roanne. It was very simple: only 18 stalls and 6 tables, a fridge and my house stove. The success of this first endeavor allowed me to open Olympe in another address where it is until today.

What was your father’s reaction when you told him that you would stay in Rio de Janeiro?
My father’s dream has always been to continue the tradition of the two brothers working together: first Pierre and Jean, then Claude and Michel. He was upset at the time and told me to manage being by myself in Brazil. So I can say that my career as chef I did by my own hard work.

What do you like most about Brazil?
I love the sunny Brazilian way of life.

How did you do it to “survive” during those early months without speaking Portuguese?
The Portuguese language like the French is a Latin language. Many worlds are similar and I managed good enough. Taking after my Italian mother, I used my hands to communicate!

As you are so enthusiastic, I would like to ask if you have any new projects in mind that you would like to share?
My son Thomas is completely responsible for Olympe today. So I am more free to carry out my dream which is to open a new restaurant in Rio, based in my first one: Roanne from 1983 with the traditional recipes that landmarked my career. I also have new propositions for my Tv show.


  1. ^ 2016 Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award (
  2. ^ Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants (
  3. ^ will be livestreamed here (

Tasty 'Snapshots on Canvas' by Luigi Castelli Gattinara | Gallery

Tasty 'Snapshots on Canvas' by Luigi Castelli Gattinara | Gallery

Luigi Castelli Gattinara is an Italian still-life potographer[1]. His stylistic tecnique draws on an imaginary antiquity, with clear references to Caravaggio and the Flemish painters. "Snapshots on canvas", as someone has called them, is a very evocative image that conveys the impression one gets looking at his photos. With their light and composition, viewers find themselves looking at veritable photographic paintings.

How would you describe your approach to still-life photography?
Ever since I was a child I’ve been fascinated by objects. When I was given my first little camera, a Comet Bencini, I was probably 10 or 11 years old: every so often on Sundays I’d wander around Rome with my father, photographing little details of Roman remains; some years later, after collecting household objects, I’d take them to the Lungotevere promenade and photograph them. I had then and still have the feeling that the elements that go into a “still life”, with their symbolic significance within the composition, represent the thoughts and emotions of the people who shoot them and look at them.

How do you select what to feature in your images?
Do you have any specific criteria? For me, in general, it’s something that leads to the creation of a composition: the “scene” is built around that. The choice comes from observation, which in any case remains an individual aspect and method: in fact I think that every one of us has a unique and non-replicable visual perception.

Where does your interest for the representation of food come from?
In 1987, when I moved to Caracas to open my studio, I realised that in the advertising field the most interesting market is the food market. I’ve always treated food in a way that brings out its magic, as if it were a “precious object”, and soon I realised it was. In many of my non-commercial compositions, along with other elements like musical instruments, books, etc., there is some food present: a bunch of grapes, a pear, a turnip, a quince, that I insert, trying to represent that incredible work of art created by Nature.

Can you please tell us more about your picture titled Natura morta con piume (Still life with plumage)?
Some time ago a great journalist and news director gave me a wonderful challenge: “I am more than certain that it is not photographically possible to depict a capon or some other dead poultry hanging by its feet without causing unease in the observer”, he told me. And that was how “Natura morta con piume” came about: that capon hanging by its legs - silent, in all its splendour, and in its great majesty - became the protagonist, but the name came from the little feathers scattered around the scene. To be honest, after I shot it, I couldn’t manage to cook it: somehow it was part of me, so I gave it to the porter at my studio.

Talking about your personal relationship with food, what is the first taste you remember, and why?
If I think back, the first thing I remember are the flavours of Piemontese food, the dishes my mother would make: great risottos, and the crêpes Suzette she prepared as a snack for me and my brothers. I would often watch her preparing her recipes, and I’d make her tell me about how in the summer, at the villa on Lake Maggiore, she would go down where the kitchens were and talk to the chef, and steal his secrets.

If you close your eyes and think of fine dining, what comes to mind?
Independently of photography, I love to cook, especially for friends: for me cooking is a way to display creativity; I mean, the pleasure of combining flavours in a fun, exciting setting. If I close my eyes and think of refined cooking, I think of something made by the hands of a great chef who, like an artist, uses flavours and brushes to construct his own work with passion, character and love: the ingredients themselves, which don’t seek to amaze or dazzle, are simply the true expression of the person who created them.