A pea soda. An apple balloon. A cotton candy picnic. A magical mole. These are just a handful of examples of mimetic cuisine, a diverse set of culinary practices in which chefs and artists treat food as a means of representation. As theatricalised fine dining and the use of food in theatrical situations both grow in popularity, Alimentary Performances traces the origins and implications of food as a mimetic medium, used to imitate, represent, and assume a role in both theatrical and broader performance situations.
Kristin Hunt's rich and wide-ranging account of food's growing representational stakes asks:
- What culinary approaches to mimesis can tell us about enduring philosophical debates around knowledge and authenticity
- How the dramaturgy of food within theatres connects with the developing role of theatrical cuisine in restaurant settings
- Ways in which these turns toward culinary mimeticism engender new histories, advance new epistemologies, and enable new modes of multisensory spectatorship and participation.
This is an essential study for anyone interested in the intersections between food, theatre, and performance, from fine dining to fan culture and celebrity chefs to the drama of the cookbook.
Kristin Hunt is an Assistant Professor of Film, Dance, and Theatre at Arizona State University, USA.
Chapter 1: Food, Mimesis, and Meaning
Chapter 2: The Foundations of Contemporary Mimetic Gastronomy
Chapter 3: What's Next: Chicago's Culture of Culinary Representation
Chapter 4: Eating a Way into House and Home: Alimentary Performance as Resistant Strategy
Chapter 5: The Proof is in the Eating: Mimesis, Participation, and Embodied Knowledge