Eating-Out and Gastronomy Discussion



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7: Eating-Out & Gastronomy

Comedor, Rio Dulce, Guatemala



Learning Objectives:

1. Examine and assess the distinctions between dining at home and dining out.

2. Describe the origins of public eating culture. 3. Identify the importance of restaurant meals as a

setting for identity work. 4. Trace the rise of gastronomy and its role in shaping

cuisines. 5. Explore the use of cuisines as an economic resource. 6. Assess the complexities of mainstream versus ethnic

restaurants, together with the applicability of the terms.

7. Assess the messages conveyed through restaurants, and how notions of “authenticity” are established.


Hello Dr. Gillian here… let’s explore eating-out, and what it can tell us about our lives, cuisines, and identity-work


Eating-In: Kin to Hosts & Guests

• Why might this be safe?

• What did you learn from last topic?

Eating Away from Home: A Risky Business?

From UNESCO French Gastronomic Meal Site.

Risky Dining? • Why eat away from home?

• What could be the risks?






Street Food: Eating Standing Up

Restaurant Food: Eating Sitting Down

• What are the characteristics of this street food?

• What can it tell us about people’s lives?

• What are the origins of restaurants?

• How did people’s social lives change?


Zhang Zeduan, Qingming scroll detail, circa 1186, depicting market restaurant


Characteristics of Restaurants:

Rarotongan Fish & Chips

• What can they tell us about cuisines?

• About the foodscape?

• About patron’s identity work?


• Why so taken-for-granted?

• What are the characteristics of restaurants?


Gastronomy: Cultivating Culinary Taste Gastronomic city

• What is gastronomy?

• Which theorists have been interested in it?

• How is it cultivated?

• How has it shaped cuisines?

• What does it mean today?

2018 Food Industry trend spotter publication

1825 guide to gastronomic taste


Pierre Bourdieu





Indigenous Restaurants

Sean Sherman Sioux Chef

• What’s on the menu?

• Why so under-represented?


Salmon & Bannock

Urban Gastronomic Foodscapes:


Mainstream Restaurants

• How are these restaurants identified?

• Why consider the social context?

• What’s the power structure of the social order?

• Whose identity-work is at play?

• What does this do to cuisine(s)?


Cactus Club Menu


Immigrants & “Ethnic” Restaurants Malaysian Restaurant Tamarind Hill, New Westminster

Nasi Lemak – national dish of Malaysia

North & South Indian Cuisine Chettinad Dosa Palace, Burnaby

Spinach & Paneer Masala Dosa

• What can these tell us about the lives of immigrants?

• What can we learn about the changing tastes?






Diaspora Dining: Chinese Restaurants & Ethnosites – from Chop Suey to Congee

Au Wing Kee, Cantonese, Burnaby

Chinese-American, San Francisco

See Film Worksheet: Sweet & Sour Christmas

• What are ethnosites?

• What happens to the cuisines?

• What gastro-politics are played out?



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