Restaurant authenticity

The Philosophers' Magazine 61:94-99 (2013)
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I think that restaurant authenticity and personal authenticity are deeply intertwined. More specifically, I think that the ways in which we define – and seek – authenticity in things, be they table setting styles, or cooking vessels or ingredients, directly shape, and are shaped by, the ways in which we understand – and cultivate – authenticity in ourselves. To the extent to which we define culinary authenticity as slavish adherence to the methods, ingredients and utensils of the source culture, we not only freeze those cultures in time and ignoring their temporality, but also reinforce in ourselves a sense that we, too, must be unambiguous and unchanging in our identity, clear and complete. On the other hand, if we wish to cultivate an authentic self that is willing to be laughed at by our friends because we believe in a being they do not, well, then we should consider cultivating an understanding of restaurant authenticity that is likewise flexible, spacious and undogmatic.



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Lisa Heldke
Gustavus Adolphus College

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