The restaurants book : ethnographies of where we eat



The restaurants book : ethnographies of where we eat

edited by David Beriss and David Sutton

Berg, 2007

  • : pbk

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 209-227) and index


  • Starter : restaurants, ideal postmodern institutions / David Beriss and David Sutton
  • Tight spaces and salsa-stained aprons : bodies at work in American restaurants / Karla Erickson
  • Forming family identity in an American Chinese restaurant : one person's transformational process / Michael Hernandez
  • Tasting Wisconsin : a chef's story / Amy Trubek
  • Side dish kitchens : Japanese American delicatessens and the culture of nostalgia / Christine Yano
  • Familiarity, ambience and intentionality : an investigation into casual dining restaurants in central Illinois / Derek Pardue
  • Serving the past on a platter : cultural revolution restaurants in contemporary China / Jennifer Hubbert
  • Ethnic succession and the new American restaurant cuisine / Krishnendu Ray
  • From Khatchapuri to gefilte fish : dining out and spectacle in Russian Jewish New York / Eve Jochnowitz
  • Daughters, duty and deference in the Franco-Chinese restaurant / Winnie Lem
  • Authentic Creole : tourism, style and calamity in New Orleans restaurants / David Beriss
  • Food, family and tradition in northern Italy : The rise and fall of a Michelin-starred family restaurant / Gerald Mars
  • Tipping : an anthropological meditation / David Sutton
  • Digestif : postprandial imaginings / Michael Herzfeld



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.


Amuse Bouche: Restaurants, Ideal Postmodern Institutions David Beriss, University of New Orleans and David Sutton, Southern Illinois University SMALL PLATES * Chapter One: Tight Spaces and Salsa-Stained Aprons: Bodies at Work in American Restaurants, Karla Erickson, Grinnell College * Chapter Two: Forming Family Identity in an American Chinese Restaurant, Michael Hernandez, Southern Illinois University * Chapter Three: Tasting Wisconsin: A Chef's Story, Amy Trubek, University of Vermont MAINS * Chapter Four: Side Dish Kitchens: Japanese American Delicatessens and the Culture of Nostalgia, Christine Yano, University of Hawaii * Chapter Five: Familiarity, Ambience and Intentionality: An Investigation into Casual Dining Restaurants in Central Illinois, Derek Pardue, Washington University * Chapter Six: Revolution is a Dinner Party: Cultural Revolution Restaurants in Contemporary China, Jennifer Hubbert, Lewis and Clark College * Chapter Seven: Ethnic Succession and the New American Restaurant Cuisine, Krishnendu Ray, New York University * Chapter Eight: From Khatchapuri to Gelfite Fish: Dining Out and Spectacle in Russian Jewish New York, Eve Jochnowitz, The New School University * Chapter Nine: Daughters, Duty and Deference in the Franco-Chinese Restaurant, Winnie Lem, Trent University * Chapter Ten: Authentic Creole: Tourism, Style and Calamity in New Orleans Restaurants, David Beriss, University of New Orleans * Chapter Eleven: Food, Family and Tradition in Northern Italy: The Rise and Fall of a Michelin-Starred Family Restaurant, Gerald Mars, University College London and London Metropolitan University DESSERT * Chapter Twelve: Tipping: An Anthropological Meditation, David Sutton, Southern Illinois University Digestif Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University

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