Pictures of meals served with the #foodporn hashtag may be popular on social media networks across the globe, but that is irrelevant to Germany's legal system. In 2013 a Federal Court of Justiceruling found elaborately arranged food to be the artistic property of its creator. Essentially, this means that you'll need to ask the chef's permission before taking and uploading a picture of your latest meal.
An elaborately arranged dish in a restaurant can be a copyright-protected work. In such a case, the creator of the work has the right to decide where and to what extent the work can be reproduced.So, in order to show off the culinary creation beyond the restaurant walls, you'd need the chef to okay it - even if the photo is just for Instagram or a blog and not intended for commercial use.
As it stands, however, there's been no precedent set of a chef actually suing someone for taking a photo of their food. But diners should remember that even if they don't run the risk of copyright infringement, restaurants are still allowed to forbid them from snapping pics at dinner.