Food & Drink

We Want Plates campaign mocks restaurants that serve food on ‘bits of wood and roof tiles’

Ross McGinnes is fed up with trendy restaurants serving food on slabs of slate and wooden boards, and tucking treats inside those tiny little shopping carts.

Drinks in jars? In baby bottles? Stop it!

Chefs call it creative plating.

McGinnes calls it weird.

So he started a social media campaign called “We Want Plates,” a crusade against “food being served on bits of wood and roof tiles.”

In 2008 a Barcelona restaurant served him a piece of cake on a table tennis paddle – and he jokingly lost sleep over it.

“Restaurants are trying to stand out but they’re just making their customers look like infantilized idiots while eating,” McGinnes told London’s The Guardian.

His Twitter account @WeWantPlates has scooped up more than 100,000 followers in the last year. The photos posted there are a head-scratching feast for the eyes.

McGinnes set up the Twitter and Facebook pages – and a website, WeWantPlates.com – after a friend posted a picture of an “average-sized steak on Facebook, which had been served to him on a large chopping board. It was captioned, unironically, ‘That is a big meal!’” he recently told Munchies, the food blog of the Vice website.

“It wasn’t a big meal. He’d fallen for all this style-over-content nonsense.”

Some of the most ridiculous stand-ins for plates that he’s seen include dog bowls, hats, Chuck Taylor sneakers and high-heel shoes. He makes special mention of one restaurant that spreads servings of spaghetti directly onto the table.

Last year McGinnes put his online protests into action by requesting a plate whenever a restaurant served him food in a manner he deemed peculiar.

Not surprisingly, McGinnes has ticked off more than a few chefs.

“I’d never in a million years even contemplate changing my style because there’s a small group of people who want to eat off a white china plate,” Executive chef Seth Levine of Hotel Chantelle in New York and London told The Guardian.

“It’s fun to upgrade dishes a bit. I ate in a restaurant the other night where something was served to me on burning wood and I thought it was incredible.”

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