Restaurants Book: Ethnographies of Where we Eat

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Overview

Is the restaurant an ideal total social phenomenon for the contemporary world? Restaurants are framed by the logic of the market, but promise experiences not of the market. Restaurants are key sites for practices of social distinction, where chefs struggle for recognition as stars and patrons insist on seeing and being seen. Restaurants define urban landscapes, reflecting and shaping the character of neighborhoods or standing for the ethos of an entire city or nation. Whether they spread authoritarian French organizational models or the bland standardization of American fast food, restaurants have been accused of contributing to the homogenization of cultures. Yet restaurants have also played a central role in the reassertion of the local, as powerful cultural brokers and symbols for protests against a globalized food system. The Restaurants Book brings together anthropological insights into these thoroughly postmodern places.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845207557
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 12/10/2007
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 717,702
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

David Beriss is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Orleans and author of Black Skins, French Voices: Caribbean Ethnicity and Activism in Urban France. David Sutton is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University. He is the author of Memories Cast in Stone: The Relevance of the Past in Everyday Life and Remembrance of Repasts: An Anthropology of Food and Memory. Both are published by Berg.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Acknowledgments ix

Notes on Contributors xi

Starter: Restaurants, Ideal Postmodern Institutions David Beriss David Sutton 1

Small Plates

1 Tight Spaces and Salsa-stained Aprons: Bodies at Work in American Restaurants Karla Erickson 17

2 Forming Family Identity in an American Chinese Restaurant: One Person's Transformational Process Michael Hernandez 25

3 Tasting Wisconsin: A Chef's Story Amy Trubek 35

Mains

4 Side Dish Kitchens: Japanese American Delicatessens and the Culture of Nostalgia Christine Yano 47

5 Familiarity, Ambience and Intentionality: An Investigation into Casual Dining Restaurants in Central Illinois Derek Pardue 65

6 Serving the Past on a Platter: Cultural Revolution Restaurants in Contemporary China Jennifer Hubbert 79

7 Ethnic Succession and the New American Restaurant Cuisine Krishnendu Ray 97

8 From Khatchapuri to Gefilte Fish: Dining Out and Spectacle in Russian Jewish New York Eve Jochnowitz 115

9 Daughters, Duty and Deference in the Franco-Chinese Restaurant Winnie Lem 133

10 Authentic Creole: Tourism, Style and Calamity in New Orleans Restaurants David Beriss 151

11 Food, Family and Tradition in Northern Italy: The Rise and Fall of a Michelin-starred Family Restaurant Gerald Mars 167

Dessert

12 Tipping: An Anthropological Meditation David Sutton 191

Digestif: Postprandial Imaginings Michael Herzfeld 205

References 209

Author Index 229

Subject Index 235

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