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The Ethnic Restaurateur


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Table of Contents

Preface: As the Grains you Eat, So will be the Mind 1. Taste, Toil and Ethnicity 2. Dreams of Pakistani Grill and Vada Pao in Manhattan: Immigrant Restaurateurs in a Global City 3. Hierarchy of Taste and Ethnic Difference: American Gustatory Imagination in a Globalizing World 4. Extending Expertise: Men in White at the Culinary Institute of America 5. Ethnicity and Expertise: Immigrant Cooks with Haute Aspirations 6. In Closing References Index

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Based upon an exploration of ethnic restaurateurs in New York, the book explores how immigrants become established in a new place, shaping cities and conceptions of taste.

About the Author

Krishnendu Ray is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, USA.


The Ethnic Restaurateur explores subordination and power in the domain of palatal taste which challenges standard theories of aesthetic taste and culture-making in an American city. ... A very insightful sociological study on the American culinary world. -- Sarah Kahn * The Washington Book Review *
Ray...[sketches] the tiers of what he calls a 'global hierarchy of taste.' ... Ultimately, [his] theory is addressing not just the construction of opinions about food, but about culture more generally.The global hierarchy of cultural taste is, in Ray's eyes, arranged according to capital flows more than it is to any inherent beauty or virtue a culture may possess. * The Atlantic *
As the fields of food criticism, food journalism, and food studies increasingly turn their attention to questions of authenticity and appropriation, The Ethnic Restaurateur provides an essential perspective on the subject. -- Jenna Mason * The Southern Foodways Alliance *
The Ethnic Restaurateur comprises an extensive reflective introduction, four interconnected substantive essays (chapters 2-5), and a brief conclusion. ...This is an engaging and sometimes polemical book which contributes to understanding ethnic entrepreneurs and the circulation and appreciation of culinary traditions, as well as beckoning towards comparison with other national experiences. * Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies *

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