Shanghai’s Western Restaurants as Culinary Contact Zones in a Transnational Culinary Field

  • James Farrer


Just as traditional “Asian” cuisines are no longer limited to Asia, the cuisines of Asia are not limited to traditional “Asian” fare. In various ways, this has long been the case. European products and food preparations have traveled along the coasts of Asia for centuries (see Duruz in this volume; Farrer 2011). Western restaurants in East Asia also date back to the nineteenth century (Cwiertke 2006; Swislocki 2009). Here I narrate the relatively recent reemergence of a transnational culinary field of fine-dining Western (xican) restaurants in Shanghai, connected to, but still distinct from, contemporary Western fine-dining scenes from Tokyo to Madrid to Dubai. And within this field, I describe how restaurants are culinary contact zones in which geographically mobile migrant culinary workers and socially mobile urban consumers acquire specialized forms of culinary capital (see also my introduction to this volume for more discussion of these terms).


Migrant Entrepreneur Western Food Culinary Creativ Fine Dine Pepper Sauce 
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© James Farrer 2015

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  • James Farrer

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