By Sean Armstrong | Staff Writer
According to BlogHer, 29 percent of the general populace share photos of their food online.
James Joyce, Duquesne junior supply chain and information systems management major, is no different.
Joyce regularly updates his food appreciation Instagram, “worldclass_dining” — on which he has 554 followers — with content from restaurants he goes to both in the city of Pittsburgh and across the country. When posting about his outings, the only criteria for him is as the page says that “eating is entertaining.”
Q: Why did you start the food Instagram?
A:“I’ve worked in the food and beverage industry. I’ve worked in restaurants for seven years. Throughout my experience in the restaurant industry, I’ve found that I have a true love for the food and beverage industry. I love going out to eat. I love the artistic form that comes into the food and beverage industry. Out of my natural interest for the food and beverage industry I decided to make a instagram page called “worldclass_dining” to not only promote other restaurateurs, chefs and restaurants that I visit, but I also wanted to make a collection of what I thought to be a very unique artform.”
Q: What places have you worked at in the past?
A:“I’ve worked for several different restaurants. Anything from bottom-of-the-barrel cafes to what has been listed as one of the best restaurants in Pittsburgh. I’ve worked at historic restaurants that Pittsburgh has enjoyed having for years and years, such as Primanti Bros. … I also worked at Atrias for a few years. These are all Pittsburgh names, so I have a distinct pride in those. Just recently, I’ve worked at Butcher and the Rye, which is a restaurant that has been noted as one of the best restaurants in Pittsburgh. But generally, the restaurant group itself has been known to be on the cutting edge of dining experiences in Pittsburgh.”
Q; What do you love about food?
A:”The food and beverage industry is really unique because whenever people go out to eat or they go out to bars for a drink, people are going to relax. They want to forget their daily tasks and they want to enjoy themselves and enjoy their friends and enjoy their families. So the fact that people go out to eat or drink because it is something that they are looking forward to doing. That has made me particularly interested in giving people great dining experiences and on the food and beverage side of things I love working for companies or restaurants or organizations that provide excellent dining experiences. For me the ultimate dining experience is whenever you have a staff that is very hospitable to you. You have a very unique and a very, very detailed dining room, [and] the ambiance fits the rest of the show. Like whenever the food is outstanding and delicious and plated well. Same thing with the cocktails or any of the beverages; they taste good, they look good and you have this overall effect of making very memorable experiences.”
Q: Is “Eating is Entertaining” your slogan? If so, why do you feel that represents your Instagram the best?
A: “‘Eating is Entertaining’ is meant to encourage the viewer to look at my profile from the standpoint of being a consumer of artwork … And sometimes it’s a lot deeper if you have what is seen as an ethnic restaurant you might go in and appreciate for a completely different reason than the type of food you grew up on. Just like artwork I think that people should interpret the food and beverage and atmosphere of a restaurant like they would a piece of art. I find that to be sheer entertainment. For the same reason you turn on a movie you could just as well go out to eat.”
Q: What is the overall goal for your Instagram?
A: “The page started out as something that is recreational for me — a hobby — and it really still is. I love doing it and I’ll continue to do it for the foreseeable future.”
Q: What was your favorite place to eat at ever?
A: “The best dining experience I’ve had in the past year … was certainly The Black Hoof, which is in Toronto. I loved The Black Hoof because the food looked so gorgeous and was still so rich. There was no compromise on flavor with the plating, which you oftentimes see. And, moreover, this restaurant was not afraid to do very, very unique things. My favorite dish that I had there was the duck liver and rhubarb éclair … The éclair was like it came from a patisserie. It was just super fresh, super soft and it complimented the very fatty, rich and gamey flavors of the duck liver mousse and slight flavors from the rhubarb jelly and the sumac powder overtop. I’ve never seen something come together so well and be so excellently prepared than this [hole-in-the-wall] restaurant. … Everything on the menu was very, very unique … [There were] other dishes … such as the pineapple upside down fla, which is a dessert with fragera which you very rarely see. They also had a horse tartar, which is illegal to serve in the United States. They had a beef tongue bánh mi. They had some of the most outrageous dishes.”