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SXSW Interactive 2016

Cultural Appropriation in Restaurants

Everyone knows Rick Bayless makes the best Mexican food in Chicago; in New York, Alex Stupak is the taco king, Andy Ricker is the go-to-guy for seriously authentic Thai food, and Ivan Orkin is the ramen maestro; in the South, Sean Brock mines the history of Southern food to find its roots in Senegal. In a culinary culture preoccupied with notions of authenticity, does the cultural provenance of the cook matter as much as the cultural provenance of the recipe? Is a white chef cooking the food of another ethnicity or region doing beneficial work of amplification, or is he taking credit for another culture's bounty? What about a Jewish chef cooking Italian food, or a Canadian chef cooking South

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  1. What does it mean for a chef or restaurant to appropriate culinary culture?
  2. Is there a line between appreciation and appropriation?
  3. How can both cooks and diners be more aware and responsible?



Amanda Kludt, Editor in Chief, Vox Media Inc

Meta Information:

  • Tags: food, racism
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Food and Experiential Dining
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced
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