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Culinary pornography

As Goffman understood all along, what we think about kitchens, and especially about restaurant kitchens, is a pretty good index of the way we think about social life and its domains. And what we think about kitchens these days seems incoherent and confused. Everywhere in our culture, the kitchen has moved frontstage. Film crews prowl the kitchens of starred restaurants; television sells the illusion of celebrity chefs in their domestic kitchens; reportage from vaut-le-voyage kitchens sells in the bookstores like the restaurant ‘special’. Some of us buy the stuff to learn how to do it; many more as culinary pornography – to know exactly what it is we can’t do

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