This article proposes that recipes are a form of culinary communication, suggesting that a recipe's biography is one of communicative moments, negotiations, and multiple voices. This framework is applied to The Art of Cooking, a series of culinary demonstrations organized by the Women's Committee at the Art Gallery of Toronto in the 1960s. The events, featuring chefs such as James Beard and Dione Lucas, were organized around the logics of gourmet cooking but departed from it when faced with the realities of women's daily lives. The research is based on archival documents and media coverage of these very popular events, which offer an opportunity to explore the mythologies and narratives about gourmet cooking in the 1960s. This article argues that communications about a recipe are part of the recipe's evolving biography and need to be analyzed alongside ingredients, instructions, makers, and users. In addition, the article advocates for the inclusion of women's committees’ histories to those of art museums in North America.
Recipes as Culinary Communication in a Canadian Art Museum: Lobster Soufflé, Beef Stroganoff, and the Tensions of Gourmet Cooking in the 1960s
Irina D. Mihalache is Assistant Professor in Museum Studies at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto and core member of the Culinaria Research Center at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She researches how (and what) people eat in museums; the history of women's committees in art galleries in North America; and historic women's magazines and recipe competitions in Canada. On these topics, she wrote several articles and chapters in food studies and museum studies journals and edited volumes. In 2016, she co-edited the volume Food and Museums, the first to explore the depth of connections between the two.
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Irina D. Mihalache; Recipes as Culinary Communication in a Canadian Art Museum: Lobster Soufflé, Beef Stroganoff, and the Tensions of Gourmet Cooking in the 1960s. Gastronomica 1 August 2018; 18 (3): 28–41. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2018.18.3.28
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