Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Food as Medium

by Pauline Ma

Marie Antoine Carême introduced the L'art de la cuisine Française au dix-neuvième siècle, in 1833, codifying haute cuisine

Pauline Ma writes in "Food as Medium: A Semiotic Analysis of French Dining as Established in the French Revolution" that "France leads the culinary world in what’s "haute'." With the roots of haute cuisine directly from France and the highest standard of dining displaying sentiments reflecting its French origin, perhaps then the French have established a kind of “culinary imperialism,” incorporating their successive practices and integrating—or standardizing—them into the industry. The event of eating and food involved are structured by culinary industry patterns that developed fundamentally in France; now adopted all over the world, the morsels of this culinary imperialism sprinkled throughout the experience of dining can teach the taster about him/herself, through a constructed presentation and generated product. Media, whether it be cookbooks, menus, films, competitions, or the very table setting itself carry and further the penetration of France’s hold on this culinary imperialism and what is “haute.”

The table setting works from the outside in, with American conventions in red. The glasses in the upper right are for wine, with a thinner glass for white and a larger one for red.

The French seal of approval, Le Cordon Bleu since 1895

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