When Is It OK To Profit From Cooking Other Cultures’ Food?

Since we’ve been talking about food diplomacy, here’s an article about some of the results of spreading different cultures’ cuisines and avoiding appropriating or disrespecting the original culture or cuisine.  I thought the comments discussed in this article were very thought provoking.

What do you think? How can chefs navigate these rather charged issues respectfully but successfully (if they can)?

4 thoughts on “When Is It OK To Profit From Cooking Other Cultures’ Food?”

  1. I think that creativity should not be sacrificed in the name of sensitivity. Specifically when it comes to cooking which is all about diversity of ingredients and ideas. Fusion of cultures has birthed so much new and exciting categories of food.

  2. I understand the importance of respecting the original culture or cuisine; however when it comes to cooking, I believe that it is ok for one to experience how he or she wants to cook.
    Cooking another culture’s food is a way to acknowledge the food and the culture of the country.

  3. Cooking is inherently individual. Even though you may be taking ideas of dishes from other cultures or cuisines, what you produce is your own style.
    Furthermore, the genres that have been created by blending cuisines have succeeded because people, as a whole, like them. Korean BBQ, and the type of Chinese-American food that we most commonly see at American restaurant are just some examples of this.

  4. This is a really interesting topic and article. I think the variety of comments they provide there serve to highlight the complexity of the question. Yes, we should encourage creativity and you can respect a culture while being inspired by it. But on the other hand, I could easily picture someone feeling exploited if someone outside their culture opened a restaurant and profited off appropriating that culture and making sub-par food. Does that happen often enough to be a concern? I’m really not sure.

    I also think the question posed by one of the final comments shown on that article is interesting: “it would be good to know if people who are not white find success this way.” I don’t know enough about the culinary world to know if this is a common issue.

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