On 21 February at 18.00, an anthropological lecture "Transmitting Taste Across Generations and Borders: Kyoto Chefs and the Japanese Culinary Academy" will be held at the National Library of Latvia, Baltic Research Centre for East Asian Studies Library (AsiaRes) Reading Room (level M). Free entrance. Language: English.
How do you teach an appreciation for a specific set of tastes to new audiences when the tastes you seek to promote lack the immediate palate appeal of fatty, sugary, and salty "junk" foods and "fast" foods? This talk provides an ethnographic case study of the Japanese Culinary Academy, a non-profit organization led by chefs and researchers that is actively reaching out to younger generations and foreign chefs. This talk analyzes the Academy’s strategies for teaching taste in the context of a global hierarchy of tastes, including their publication of The Complete Japanese Cuisine series, a Food Education curriculum developed for Kyoto’s public schools, and a special work visa program for foreign chefs. This talk argues that understanding taste as multisensory, shaped by sociocultural factors and global political economy, helps us understand how tastes change and strategies to influence taste.
PhD Greg de St. Maurice is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Research on Food Palatability at Ryukoku University. He received his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. The focus of his recent research is the dynamism of local foodways and agricultural systems in the context of the latest phase of globalization. Current projects address the use of science by contemporary Japanese chefs, the valuation of "undelicious" crop varieties, and changes in Japanese domestic and regional foodways since 1975.
Latvian Association of Anthropologists