Cookbooks as Works of Art
These lush books, which feature recipes with hard-to-source ingredients or professional-grade equipment, may be faithful records of what goes on in restaurant kitchens, but they often seem intentionally too complex for the home cook. As a result, these books function as totems, signs that the owner is interested in and knowledgeable about trending food culture. Some recent examples include: the El Bulli books, Alinea, Momofuku, Modernist Cuisine, NOMA, The Big Fat Duck Cookbook. We are interested in the implications of the popularity of these books, where food is no longer really presented as nourishment, but rather as something more akin to art.
Chair: Kim Beeman
Jane Black, food writer
Emily Contois, Boston University, Gastronomy
Anne E. McBride