In the first decade of the 2000s, more cable food networks were launched and celebrity chefs continued to emerge into the culinary scene with their own television programs and cookbooks. Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson are two British chefs with global profiles who have done both.
The 1980s saw an increase in ethnic restaurants in North America. Changes in immigration patterns due to political upheavals throughout the world resulted in new arrivals from Iran, the Middle East, the former Yugoslavia, the former Soviet Union, Hong Kong and other areas of Asia, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Many of these immigrants started restaurants, first for their fellow ex-patriots and then for the broader population.
In the early 1960s, a new model of French cuisine began to emerge from Paul Bocuse, in which lighter sauces made of jus reductions with cream were used instead of the heavier roux-based sauces. The profile of French cuisine increased as Jacqueline Kennedy hired a French chef for the White House and Julia Child published the cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, followed by a television series on French cooking.
There were several cultural, historical and technological factors that influenced cuisine in the 1950s. The United States, Canada and other western countries were entering a period of prosperity following the immediate post-World War II period. Technology had made huge advances and changed the way people in North America lived. They had cars, modern household appliances and homes in the suburbs of major cities.
In my early twenties, I was living in London, England and working in Hachette French Bookshop, a small establishment on a narrow lane off Regent Street. It was a working holiday, following a student sojourn in France and a fanciful year in Cairo as a babysitter for a Canadian embassy family. One day, I was returning home to north London when I passed a table of books on the sidewalk outside a small shop.
(UPDATED may 2016) – There is a common Korean saying that “if you have kimchi and rice, you have a meal.” Just like bread and butter in the western culture, kimchi and rice play a vital role in the Korean diet and has done so for many centuries as far back as 2,500 to 3,000 years ago. For those who are not familiar with it, the word “Kimchi” is used to describe the side dishes that come with every Korean meal.
They contain foods (often vegetables) preserved in salt or soy sauce that were stored (buried underground in a jar) for a period of time, and have gone through the fermentation process. Over time, kimchi has slowly evolved into its current form with the inclusion of additional ingredients like garlic, chili pepper, and salted seafood. It is not known of when exactly the word “Kimchi” was invented; the related terms were used initially around the 16th century.
The Chef, starring Jean Reno and Michaël Youn, is a French comedy directed by Daniel Cohen. Reno plays Alexandre Lagarde, a veteran chef who clashes against his restaurant group’s new CEO, who wants the establishment to lose a star from its rating in order to bring in a younger chef who specialises in molecular gastronomy.
The film weaves around and through a number of interesting themes and effectively uses the humorous backdrop of the plot to both challenge and poke fun at the current reality, practices and beliefs of contemporary high-end gastronomy.
I’m Anthony Bourdain – I write; I travel; I eat; and I’m hungry for more.
Anthony Bourdain – No Reservations
No Reservations is a food and travel program combined into one. In it the host Anthony Bourdain travels to, explores and eats at different places around the world. The focus of the show is primarily food and travel but it is the people and the culture behind each place that is conveyed through the story of food, that makes it so interesting.
Flandrin and Montanari assert, “Every culture is ‘contaminated’; every ‘tradition’ is a child of history, and history is never static”. Looking at this from a present day semantic perspective this would appear to hold true.
Today’s current events become tomorrow’s historical ones. From a global perspective the statistical probability that what occurred today will repeat itself tomorrow, a veritable “ground hog day”, is so small that the assertion “history is never static” can be made with a high degree of assurance. By defining tradition as “the passing of elements of a culture or religious beliefs from generation to generation, especially by oral communication”, a case can be made for the parental role of history in the formulation and nurturing of a culture’s traditions.
Assuming that not all “contamination” is malicious, the current level of globalisation and social interconnectedness has driven the possibility of culture isolation to the furthest extremes of the Amazonian rain forest or Papua New Guinean highlands. Given this assertion that nothing realistically can be fixed or unchanging, we need to accept culture and tradition as a moveable element, à la Flandrin and Montanari, dynamic and open to contestation.