A local school is letting students hashtag their way through class.

It may sound a bit absurd that anyone would offer a class on Instagram, but instructors at the Culinary Institute of America believe that using the social media platform is an important job skill their students need to learn.

According to a recent story in the New York Times, The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park decided to add two new elective classes that will teach food styling and creative food photography.

Many restaurants are now designed around making those food photos look as attractive as possible. Studies have shown that diners will seek out restaurants if they see an attractive photo of their menu item on Instagram. From installing photography lighting in the ceilings, to supplying specially designed place mats that serve as "Instagram bait," chefs are doing whatever they can to get customers to snap those photos and share them with friends.

Kersti Bowser, a food stylist and graduate of the CIA, is helping to develop the courses which will teach students the value of attractively documenting their food for social media. The world's most successful chefs have realized the power of platforms like Instagram to make or break their customer base.

The Culinary Institute of America will offer the new classes starting in May.

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