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.

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