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Sweet & sour: Postcolonial professional kitchens in the postmodernity

Carlos Henrique Gonçalves Freitas, Cíntia Rodrigues, Valdir Machado Valadão Junior


Inequality is a historical issue in Brazil, an inheritance of entangled and interdependent social, economic, political and legal injustices. This paper summarises a research on fine-dining restaurant kitchens in the city of Uberlandia, a major economic and migration hub in centre of Brazil, seeking to expose instances of inequalities replicated in those organisations. It attempts to offer a critical study of unfolding dialogues between its employees’ perspectives of their socio-cultural contexts and those of the organizations and their own contextual particularities, using the notions of medievality, global city and foodscape as categories of analysis, with further considerations on organization studies, postcolonialism and postmodernity. Its research corpus’ empirical material was collected through the shadowing of chefs in two such restaurants and, then, analysed in the light of those categories and considerations. It was possible to interpret that such workers, organizations and their contexts reproduce symbols, behaviours and representations that may operate as sources of social distinction for their customers, but, paradoxically, may reinforce the inequalities that motivated the research, too.


Shadowing. Fine-dining restaurant. Foodscape. Postmodernity. Global city.

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