The Cultivation of Taste: Chefs and the Organization of Fine Dining (Hardback)
  • The Cultivation of Taste: Chefs and the Organization of Fine Dining (Hardback)

The Cultivation of Taste: Chefs and the Organization of Fine Dining (Hardback)

Hardback 384 Pages / Published: 13/02/2014
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After many decades, if not centuries, of neglect of fine food and high-level restaurants in Britain, we are seeing a massive explosion of interest in food, cooking, and dining out. Christel Lane's book charts the process of this transformation and examines top contemporary restaurants and their chefs. The Cultivation of Taste presents a comparative study of Michelin-starred restaurants in Britain and Germany, focusing on two countries without an indigenous haute cuisine but which nevertheless have developed internationally reputed fine-dining sectors. It compares their development to the fine-dining culture in France, as well as offering contrasts with that of the US, Spain, and the Nordic Countries. Written from a sociological perspective, chefs are portrayed as part of a complex network, in their relationships with their employees, their customers, gastronomic critics, suppliers of food, and even their financiers. It will appeal to academics in the areas of economic and cultural sociology, and those with an interest in small entrepreneurial firms and their work relations, but also to all those who have an interest in fine-dining restaurants and the chef patrons at the centre of them. The book draws on a large number of interviews with renowned chefs, diners, and Michelin inspectors to provide an unprecedented insight into what goes on in Michelin-starred restaurants-what makes their chefs tick, intrigues their critics, and beguiles or annoys their customers. Restaurants are viewed not simply as businesses but as cultural enterprises that shape our taste in food, ambience, and sociality.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199651658
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 728 g
Dimensions: 241 x 163 x 30 mm

Christel Lane has produced an authoritative guide to fine dining as a social, cultural, and economic institution with complex systems of support and deeply rooted national differences. We learn that taste is a contested terrain, where every culinary act reveals competing values, suggesting that the world of fine cuisine is no less complex than the world at large. * Sharon Zukin, author of Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places *
At last! A serious study of one of the most striking changes in culinary culture since the 1980s: the rise of the cult of fine dining. In an age of television chefs and cooking as competitive display, there has often seemed to be an element of spectatorship or even gastro-pornography in the publics interest. France has had its haute cuisine for centuries, but neither Britain nor Germany was previously noted for a robust tradition of high-end eating. Professor Lane shows that the British and German chefs are no longer simply following French models: their food also has local roots. Focusing on chefs and their restaurants that have gained the coveted Michelin stars, this book is essential reading for all who take a keen interest in serious eating. * Stephen Mennell, University College Dublin *
Scholars and enthusiasts will profit from this deft comparison of the development of contemporary fine-dining restaurants and their chefs in Britain and Germany which offers a thorough account of the multiple tensions involved in business management, working life, craft training, and aesthetic inspiration. * Alan Warde, University of Manchester *
[Christel Lane] is to be congratulated for having written a sociological study that we all can understand. * Petits Propos Culinaires *

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