In the face of globalization, chefs in Kyoto, Japan have worked to protect local food culture and revive the local food economy. Their actions do not constitute “resistance,” nor are they simply signs of the persistence of local difference in the context of large-scale changes. Drawing primarily on interviews I conducted with prominent chefs of “traditional” Kyoto cuisine and participant observation at events related to Kyoto cuisine, this article examines chefs’ approaches to outside influence and promotion efforts abroad. I pay specific attention to the incorporation of new foreign ingredients into Kyoto cuisine and new efforts to share culinary knowledge with foreign chefs, namely the establishment of a work visa system and the creation of a cookbook series targeted at professional chefs abroad. Kyoto's chefs, this article demonstrates, have been strategically engaging with globalization, actively refashioning the local to try to control it at a global scale.
Kyoto Cuisine Gone Global
Greg de St. Maurice is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Toronto and the Air Liquide Fellow at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. He earned his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. He also holds master's degrees in Social Anthropology (Oxford University) and International Relations (American University, Ritsumeikan University). His key research interests include globalization, taste, place and place brands, and Japan. He was on a Fulbright in Japan in 2011–12 and his work has appeared in Etnofoor, Digest, and edited volumes about food culture and food activism.
Greg de St. Maurice; Kyoto Cuisine Gone Global. Gastronomica 1 August 2017; 17 (3): 36–48. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2017.17.3.36
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