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At the Chef's TableCulinary Creativity in Elite Restaurants$
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Vanina Leschziner

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804787970

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804787970.001.0001

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Managing a Culinary Style

Managing a Culinary Style

(p.73) Chapter Four Managing a Culinary Style
At the Chef's Table

Vanina Leschziner

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines how chefs strategize to differentiate from others. Chefs look for new ideas to navigate the balance between originality and conformity to established styles that is necessary to survive in a cultural field. At the same time, they need to manage a fitting distance from other chefs. Like creators in any field, they borrow ideas from others to obtain inspiration, but unlike creators in many fields, they have no means to publicly give credit for the borrowed ideas. Developing a style that is not too derivative and managing relations with peers is much harder where creativity occurs through minor changes, and the difference between styles is fuzzy. This chapter analyzes the different strategies—culinary, cognitive, and rhetorical—chefs engage in to avoid the impression that they are too closely derivative, and highlight their difference rather than similarity from other chefs.

Keywords:   conformity, originality, differentiation, cookbooks, intellectual property, norms, knowledge-exchange, disattention, lineage, social relations

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