English

Cooks, Knife-Wielders, and Their Audiences

 Cathy K. Kaufman 

To Cite this Article

APA : Kaufman, C. (2016). Cooks, Knife-Wielders, and Their Audiences. p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e , 3 (1-2). http://www.p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e.org/?p=2483

Chicago : Kaufman, Cathy. “Cooks, Knife-Wielders, and Their Audiences.” p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e 3, no. 1-2 (Spring-Fall 2016).  http://www.p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e.org/?p=2483

MLA : Kaufman, Cathy. “Cooks, Knife-Wielders, and Their Audiences.” p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e 3.1-2 (2016). http://www.p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e.org/?p=2483


Abstract

The knife is that most fundamental of culinary tools, universally used by cooks to prepare food in the kitchen and, in the Western tradition, by diners to aid consumption in the dining space. Beyond its workaday tasks, the messages communicated by the knife (and those who wield it competently) have different according to time and place: in feudal Japan, intricate display appeased the gods and dispelled bad karma, while in late medieval through much of modern Europe, choreographed slicing and distribution of foods reinforced status. All of these carving displays were ends-oriented: these skillful, precise acts of knife work took place in the dining room, performed either by the host or a specially trained, elite member of the household staff. The cooking process and its preliminary knife work remained low-status, hidden in the kitchen. But performative carving has fallen into desuetude as changes in meal and social structures have made such carving obsolete. Nonetheless, precision knife work remains at the core of culinary excellence and is reflected in the beauty and design of foods on the post-modern plate. Concurrently, the dining public has become fascinated by the acts leading to the construction of the meal, rather than the mere delivery of finished dishes, and this change in audience mentality has taken a new prominence in restaurant design through the open, visible kitchen. Rather than hide much of food preparation from view, leaving only the carving spectacle to entertain the diners, the act of preparation of food has become entertainment in itself. The previously unseemly task of cooking is now worthy of theater, making the kitchen the performative stage.  And theater itself has used the balletic moves of cooking to create spectacle on traditional stages, such as in the Korean sensation, Cookin’ NANTA

Keywords

Culinary Arts, European Cuisine, Japanese Cuisine, Knives, Restaurants, Restaurant Design, Theater.


Chefs have long dazzled their elite audiences with feats of culinary artistry. Chiquart Amiczo, master cook to Amadeus, Count of Savoy, prepared an extraordinary culinary divertissement honoring the Duke of Burgundy in 1403: four men carried a litter, on which stood a pastry castle with four crenelated towers, each armed with crossbowmen. Ringing the castle were fruit trees bearing caged live birds, and in the corners stood a menagerie of edible creatures, from a handsome pike cooked three different ways, through swans, piglets, fire-breathing glazed boars’ heads, culminating with the obligatory peacock, its tail regally splayed. Diners feasted on the edible art, although Chiquart recommended swapping a fat roasted goose for the notoriously stringy and tasteless peacock, the latter sadly more pleasing to the eye than to the palate. As culinary fashions changed, stationary sugar sculptures graced baroque banquet displays, evolving into the meticulous, architecturally precise pièces montées of Antonin Carême and his ilk: no nineteenth or early twentieth century dinner was au fait without a consumable (at least in theory) work of art on the dining table.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/23/Delmonico_paste_work_kitchen_1902.jpg

More recently, the painterly plates executed by practitioners of nouvelle cuisine and precipitously constructed towers of food made famous by Alfred Portale—the delicately mounded salads and such that collapse at the first touch of a fork—all have charmed dining audiences.

Regardless of the skill of the culinary practitioners like Chiquart, Carême, and Portale, the spectacle occurred in the dining room, away from the heat, noise, and grime of the kitchen.  Guests were wowed by the final product created by talented cooks, rather than by witnessing the painstaking process of creating these visually lush displays. In recent decades, however, process—observing the act of cooking—has begun to rival product—eating the finished dish—as a key ingredient in the public consumption of food.  High end and trendy restaurant designers create open kitchens where the most coveted tables vicariously put the diners in the kitchen, permitting them to gaze upon the process of cooking and, in some cases, even to feel the heat of the flames. Process has become part of the spectacle of dining, diners voyeuristically  entertained by the ballet of the kitchen.

http://eatsblog.dallasnews.com/files/2013/12/Spoon_9.jpg

Before the mid-1980s, upscale restaurant patrons were carefully shielded from the process of cooking by the swinging door that shielded the front of the house from the back. Cooks’ labors were invisible, as restaurants shone the spotlight on those who served the food. Iconic haute cuisine was a trolley where one’s canêton à l’orange was wheeled table side and a formally attired maître d’  might squeeze an orange half with exaggerated flourish into a sauce-laden chafing dish before deftly carving the burnished duckling to the rapt, if temporary, attention of the diners. Performance over, the cart would retreat and the diners would return to their conversation until, perhaps, their eyes caught sight of the slicing of a chateaubriand or filleting of a poached turbot at a neighboring table.

By the mid-twentieth century, the most virtuosic of these displays were losing their luster. Although a few classic establishments still entertain with table side service:

https://foodsnobblog.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/img_4223.jpg,

the death knell of performative carving was sounded with the growing influence of nouvelle cuisine, when artistically plated foods were delivered in single portions directly from the kitchen, without the intermediate staging by the servers. Indeed, the waiters became mere deliverers of food, rather than performing the essential acts of serving, which implies selection, portioning, and plating. The cook’s aesthetic, rather than the waiter’s skill, greeted the diner on the plate, recalibrating focus from the performances in the dining room to the mysterious happenings behind the swinging doors.

In recent years, many restaurants have opened these previously closed doors to reveal at least parts of the inner workings of the culinary process. In retrospect, the development and popularity of the open kitchen restaurant, bringing self-conscious theatricality to the act of restaurant cooking, seems inevitable in our highly visual and entertainment-oriented culture.  One trade paper summed up the appeal of the open kitchen as follows:

Guests seeking more than menus and meals find open kitchens set the stage for front-row entertainment. Often likened to dinner theatre, chefs offer up a one-of-a-kind performance to patrons while giving them an inside view of kitchen operations… The bustling kitchen staff, the clinking cookware, the heat of the rising flames—all adding up to create a more holistic and vibrant atmosphere for the dining public.[i]

And open kitchens may also have an ancillary, unforeseen benefit: they may improve the quality of the food. A recent, albeit cursory, study in the Harvard Business Review reported that patrons found food to be tastier when the cooks knew that they were being watched, regardless of whether the cooks could see the patrons—as if the culinary actor is inspired by the mere presence of her consuming audience.[ii]

Open kitchens have their critics: Frank Bruni, a former restaurant reviewer for The New York Times, bemoaned that clattering pots and clouds of steam reminded him of the brutal effort needed to turn out a restaurant meal and longed “for the best show of all[, that] is an illusion of effortlessness, an insulation from smoke and fire.”[iii] This illusion of effortlessness, what Italians call sprezzatura, used to be the measure of successful dining performances. Now success is measured in pyrotechnics.

The pan versus the knife: cooking and performative carving

Heat and fire may be the center of attention in the open kitchen, yet clinking cookware and clattering pots are but part of the batterie de cuisine; the knife is equally fundamental in preparing foods for cooking. Yet unlike other members of the batterie de cuisine, the knife has uniquely crossed the threshold from kitchen to dining room: the knife carries the additional role of serving of food through the art of carving, a spectacle which historically has taken place before the consuming audience in a dining room. This versatility makes the knife a most intriguing implement, and its cultural history is layered and multivalent.

Invented in the deepest abyss of prehistory, the razor-sharp knife is humankind’s first culinary tool and it is indispensable in kitchens worldwide. Move to the dining room, however, and the knife has fared differently in the East versus the West. Table knives are unnecessary for the chopstick-ready, bite-sized fare of Chinese and Japanese cuisines; this shunning of table knives is popularly traced to the aphorism attributed to the Confucian scholar Mencius that, ‘the honorable and upright man keeps well away from both the slaughterhouse and the kitchen…  And he allows no knives on his table.’ In the West, knives are essential in the dining room in two forms. First, in the table knife that forms part of each diner’s couvert, where even the tenderest tournedos Rossini is served in portions, not mouthfuls, requiring each diner to cut her meal with the table knife, and second, in the carving knife that slices and portions at table, although only the host or a few other key performers were privileged to use it.

These differences in material culture and the proper situs for the knife go beyond the simple implements needed to prepare and savor dramatically different cuisines and the construction of a culturally perfect meal. The acceptance of the knife in the dining room illustrates differences in the way Eastern and Western cultures have articulated social relationships through the act of commensality. Japanese banquets emphasize the individuality and separateness of each diner: the guests gather in the ceremonial room, but not around a common board, and each receives a personal tray or low table (or a series of trays, as the hōnzen ryōri evolved) with assorted small dishes neatly compartmentalized by the kitchen staff. By contrast, Western hospitality and commensality emphasized the shared nature of the meal and demanded that food delivered to a common table, to be portioned and served from common platters, by waitstaff with the participation of the diners.

Performative carving has been an essential element of elite dining throughout history.[iv] Notwithstanding the taboo against table knives and communal portioning in traditional Japanese dining, culinary spectacle in the form of performative carving in front of guests was permitted in the Japanese dining room. Kindred performances took place throughout elite homes in Europe at roughly the same time, from the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries, when both Japanese and European sources documented a style of ceremonial banqueting that involved the elaborate carving of foodstuffs in full view of honored guests. The near-simultaneous development of these courtly art forms share other superficial similarities: the carvers employed a specialized vocabulary to identify different aspects of their performances, codifying and professionalizing the act of dismemberment, and the act of performative carving implied religious observance. Yet the differences in the style and fundamental purpose of these carving performances far outweigh any similarity hinted by their synchrony, specialized lexica, and sacramental allusions.

Japan: Stage-like Illusion and Exorcism

Eric Rath, a scholar of premodern Japanese foodways and performance, has analyzed the Japanese knife ceremony, or hōchō shiki. Named for the hōchō, the particular style of knife used, a flat, squared-ended blade a bit over nine inches long, Rath traces the written origins of the knife ceremonies to the late fifteenth century, when hōchōnin, literally ‘men of the carving knife,’ or, more colloquially, ‘chefs,’ began to write treatises explaining their art, although lore places the actual invention of the knife ceremony centuries earlier. The hōchōnin were culinary performance artists at the professional summit and performed codified steps, called kata—the same term used to describe ritualized movements and gestures in the martial arts and Noh theater. The connoisseur could judge the hōchōnin’s performance against established norms for its accuracy and grace, which, according to one nineteenth-century treatise, “cannot be contrived to suit one’s personal convenience.”[v] By this time the art of the hōchōnin had diffused from professional cooks to leisured classes, many of whom studied the ritualized carving with an eye towards connoisseurship.

The Encyclopedia of Japanese Cuisine (first published 1898) offers a glimpse into this intricate, stylized art. The ceremony opens with the hōchōnin raising his right knee, straightening his hips, and bringing the knife in his right hand, chopsticks in left, striking them together to make a sound. He eventually transfers the chopsticks into the grasp of his right thumb, forming a cross with the knife, which he held slightly above his head to present to the audience.[vi] Following these preliminaries, exhaustingly didactic instructions prescribe specific forms; the ‘Eternal Carp’ is especially clever, as the carp’s tail is manipulated to create the ideogram ‘eternal’, delighting the erudite audience with the self-referential display.[vii] After concluding the carving, the hōchōnin returned the dismembered creature to the kitchen, its fate, as an ingredient in some future delicacy or as detritus, unclear. What was clear, however, was that the results of the hōchō shiki were not distributed for consumption in the dining room.

At its origins, the hōchō shiki  was much more than a dazzling display of knife skills designed to entertain a privileged elite, even if, by the nineteenth century, it had become a pastime for the wealthy. On the contrary, the seventeenth century Confucian scholar Hayashi Razan announced that hōchōnin were deserv[ing of] great praise,” especially those exceptional practitioners who could slaughter and carve a carp in one hundred different ways.[viii] How is it that a Confucian scholar could praise the hōchōnin in spite of their purported aversion to knives and slaughter? The answer, according to Rath, lies in the syncretic Japanese melding of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shintoism, in which both animate and inanimate objects possess sacred powers. The animals that fell prey to the hōchōnin’s knife were not mere performative props: they were imbued with magical powers that elevated the carving ceremony to one of religious catharsis. The first line from the instructions for the ‘Eternal Carp’ begins with the pregnant, “Having completed the preliminaries. . .”. that is, a series of fourteen steps designed to prepare the carving environment for a karmic release, which included the symbolic purification of the cutting table, the selection of chopsticks and knife that met highly specific, numerologically significant, criteria of size and form, and the offering up of the animal for carving in a way that would ‘save’ it by releasing its soul from the fraught cycle of rebirth, done by elevating the creature overhead before dropping it onto the cutting table. Once the dead creature’s spirit had been delivered to the Pure Land of Amida Buddha, the hōchōnin could take the intricate fifteenth step of carving the now spiritually-freed creature without suffering the bad karma of killing that was endemic to his profession. The observers, of course, were similarly absolved of the bad karma of banqueting on animals.[ix]

The Carver in Europe: Sprezzatura, Status, and Practicality

Corresponding to the office of the hōchōnin were the court carvers of Europe. Called the l’écuyer tranchant in France, il trinciante in Italy, and other terms specific to each European language, they were most often young members of the nobility, rather than professional cooks, as suggested by the spurs of the young man carving in the famous scene from Les Très Riches Heures de duc de Berry.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_cuisine#/media/File:Les_Très_Riches_Heures_du_duc_de_Berry_Janvier.jpg.

While these young nobles would have been occupied in earlier times in learning to thrust their swords in battle, knife skills in late medieval society were directed to cutting the breasts of beasts, not men. As part of the practice of courtesy, Erasmus and other mid-sixteenth century courtesy writers all emphasized the need ‘for a child to learn at an early age how to carve a leg of mutton, a partridge, a rabbit, and such things.’[x] This redirection of knife skills from battlefield to dining hall was part of the civilizing process.

Those of aristocratic birth could learn the skill through on-the-job training at court, but, in a foretaste of the final breakdown of feudal castes and the increasing embourgeoisement of the aspiring classes, other persons could learn the craft through the many books that took advantage of the printing press to spread carving vernacular and techniques throughout Europe. Wynkyn de Worde’s Boke of Keruynge (1st ed.1508), is the source of the lexicon listing the specialized verb associated with carving each type of animal, language that was reproduced in manuals through the beginning of the nineteenth century. ‘Breaking that deer,’ ‘winging that partridge,’ or ‘splatting that pike’  became terms of art whose meaning was known to experts. Yet for all its fame in spreading the linguistic conventions, the Boke of Keruynge gives no instruction in what ‘breaking that deer,’ ‘winging that partridge,’ or ‘splatting that pike’ might entail; it merely advises that the carver must know the ‘fair handling’ of his knife and emphasizes the need for personal cleanliness and neatness in serving.[xi]

Nearly two centuries later, in 1672, Antoine de Courtin would emphasize the need to learn proper carving for the aspiring bourgeois eager for social advancement:

If a person of rank asks for something that is in front of you, it is important to know how to cut meat with propriety and method, and to know the best portions, in order to be able to serve them with civility. The way to cut them is not prescribed here, because it is a subject on which special books have been written. . . .[xii]

Details and cut-by-the-numbers diagrams were circulated in specialized books, such as Vincenzo Cervio’s popular and frequently republished Il Trinciante (1st ed., 1581),

http://archivum.piar.hu/batthyany/benda/57kep.gif;

its diagrams were liberally borrowed by others. Less famous, but extremely rich in detail, is Enrique de Villena’s manuscript Arte Cisoria (1423; unpublished until 1766), which describes protocols for carving for Kings of Spain. Although it seemingly had little influence outside of the Escorial, as it remained unpublished for 250 years, it is a tantalizingly evocative portrait of courtly Spanish practice, as Enrique carved for Fernando I during his coronation in 1414. Enrique’s performances were exquisitely orchestrated; he had his own entourage, who carried into the banqueting hall a wooden chest containing Enrique’s required implements, each in its own case and bound with an intricate knot that only Enrique could unravel: five steel knives of varying sizes, two gold or silver forks (one two-pronged, the other three-pronged), plus utensils to peel fruit and extract shellfish. Among the extraordinary details provided are hints on grooming, affirming that the carver was, essentially, an actor on stage: among the delightful tips is the advice that the carver should clean his teeth with a potion (recipe conveniently provided) that will also attractively redden the gums. Once the King had entered, the very serious business of paying homage and assaying the King’s food for poisons began. The carver pressed a napkin to his lips, which was then passed to the King, much as the priest kisses and dons the stole in readying himself for Mass. The carver’s tools then pierced a small slice of bread that was eaten by the majordomo to test for poison. Finally, the precise techniques and recommended tools are detailed to allow the carver to neatly cut any foodstuff that might be offered to the King, ‘from sheep stuffed with little birds to peaches in wine.’[xiii]

Giles Rose’s A Perfect School of Instruction for the Officers of the Mouth (1682, essentially a translation of L’École parfaite des officiers de bouche, contenant. . . Le Grand Écuyer-Tranchant ,1662), borrows from Cervio’s illustrations and similarly treats carving as quasi-religious ceremony. In his opening gestures the carver drapes a long napkin over his shoulder, again visually reminiscent of the Catholic stole, and uncovers the dishes containing meats, as if uncovering the Host.  Any doubts as to whether the carver’s actions mime priestly functions are dispelled by Rose’s explanation of the purpose of carving: ‘the Ceremonies which are used and practised [sic] amongst men, and the honors that are conferred on men. . . are more Spiritual, and yet they are but the invention of mans spirit, which the material hath not in the least made any contribution.’[xiv] But Rose is not a hōchōnin dispelling bad karma or, to use Western parlance, absolving sin; rather, Rose is reflecting the enlightened absolutism and hierarchy of his era that relieved ‘persons of Quality’ from the corporeal burden of slicing their own foods:[xv]

as much as there are divers distinctions among men, so by consequence there is or ought to be in their manner and fashion of eating . . . a great deal of difference: And as it is but reason that all common people should cut their own Meat, so it is but just that Kings, Prices, and great Lords, and persons of Quality, should be exempted from this small pain; not of necessity, but for Honour and Ceremony.[xvi]

Rose was simply reiterating the cultural trope that carving and power were inextricably linked, echoing Shakespeare’s injunction concerning the young prince Hamlet that, “He may not, as unvalu’d persons do, Carve for himself.” (Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3).

After dispensing with the metaphysical talk of rank, Spirit, and ceremony, Rose moves to the mundane explanations of how to carve each creature or fruit that might be served, distinguishing between better and inferior morsels, so that, “If you will, you may join some of the breast [of partridge] with the best piece which you always present to the most considerable person at Table first, and take notice too by the bye [sic], the brawn of the breast ought to be for the most part served out first.”[xvii] In other words, the carver became the gatekeeper and protector of hierarchies, making sure that the correct portion went to the proper diner, reinforcing the status quo.

Western carving, for all its practical purposes, nonetheless had an aesthetic analogous to the hōchō shiki.  Carving was to be done with sprezzatura, demonstrated by holding aloft birds on the prongs of a fork while deftly slicing tranches of meat that would fall in a gracefully overlapping fan in front of the honored guest or host, as suggested in Jacques Vontet’s L’Art de Trancher la viande et toute sorte de fruicts  (Lyon 1647).

http://archivum.piar.hu/batthyany/benda/64kep.jpg

At the end of the performance, the creature carved was a carcass denuded of flesh which had been distributed according to rank to be consumed with gusto. It was not, like the product of the hōchōnin, itself a work of art.[xviii]

The death of carving

Starting in the late seventeenth century, European styles of serving elite meals were shifting as dining room layouts, furniture, and etiquette evolved. The late medieval practice of artistically carving meats in front of an audience theatrically seated on one side of a trestle table was being replaced by the more intimate and convivial service à la français, where platters of food were arranged on dining tables in established patterns. The tables were now often round or oval in shape, with diners facing each other across the relatively narrow stretch of table, facilitating conversation and having the diners, literally, turn their backs on the servers and carvers. Responsibility for carving started to shift to a member of the company, who “ought to set himself about the middle of the Table, that he may do it the more commodiously, and serve all the whole Company.”[xix] As European dining habits accelerated towards the more intimate dining rooms of the eighteenth century, gentlefolk were encouraged to develop carving acumen as part of domestic behavior.  That many failed to do so was noted by Grimod de la Reynière, who, in his Manuel des Amphitryons (1808), wrote lessons in carving. Grimod quipped (likely projecting from his own impoverished circumstances) that learning to carve elegantly could be a godsend to those whose fortunes had been lost in the French Revolution and now were relegated to being guests at the tables of the unschooled nouveaux riches:

[O]n more than one occasion [carving] has proven quite beneficial for guests, indeed, it can often suffice for them to be considered clever and amiable. As long as he is otherwise presentable, a man who knows how to carve and serve well is not only welcome everywhere, but in many households is given preference. If, like most of his counterparts today, a Host is uninitiated in this art, he shall be all the more eager to have someone who masters it at his table, and shall invite him often, to put his talents to good use.[xx]

Within a generation, the commensality of service à la française would start to slip away to the newly fashionable service à la russe, where meats were carved by butlers on a side table or in the kitchen and served in their pre-sliced state. The role of écuyer or host was surrendered to an anonymous servant skilled in efficiency, not drama. Whatever the culinary advantages of such expedited service, carving at table fell further into desuetude in the private home, although form of performative carving remained hallmark of fine dining in restaurants through the mid-twentieth century. Indeed, the 1961 American edition of Larousse Gastronomique wistfully lauded the talents of one Joseph Dugnol, of the Taverne Joseph, who,

carved a Rouen duckling while holding it impaled on the prongs of a fork, so that there was nothing to support it. He carved this duck into very thin fillets all of which fell, in perfect order, onto the dish underneath. And that,’ adds the narrator, ‘with admirable despatch and in less time that it takes to tell.’[xxi]

M. Dugnol was a rare modern practitioner, as most contemporary carvers lacked his skill. Anonymous waiters carving for unknown restaurant patrons is but a faint echo of the status relationships that governed performative carving in late medieval and early modern practice.

Conclusion

The dining venue has always been a performative space, although the nature of the performances evolve and reflect cultural constructs and memes. Carving was freighted with explicit and implicit social and religious significance in both Japan and Europe, yet carving served fundamentally different ends: the Japanese did not carve food for corporeal consumption; carving was consumed and appreciated by watching the performance, rather than eating its products. It was art for art’s (and karma’s) sake. For the Europeans, carving performances were a prelude to ingestion. Carving was a means to an end, not an end in itself.

But how does performative carving (or the lack hereof, in Western restaurants) relate to the trend in favor of open kitchens, which make the cooks the stars on a stage, illuminated by the glare of kitchen lights, as they work? I have suggested elsewhere that restaurant chefs from Auguste Escoffier forward have worked to simplify restaurant menus to offer fewer dishes, but ones that express their culinary judgements, and that this has contributed to their increasing status in the eyes of diners.[xxii] While hardly the only reason for the recent elevation of many leading chefs to the heights of celebrity (television and the internet are critical factors), the dining public clearly is less interested in the way food is served, regardless of the élan with which a dish is delivered, and more interested in the process by which the meal is created. The skilled cook is no longer a blue collar, manual laborer, but is now a professional, often bordering on the status of artist. As restaurants have become an increasingly popular location of entertainment, the dining public is eager to gaze upon the process. The kitchen with its bustle of activity now entertains privileged consumers, supplanting deft displays of carving in the dining room.  The whoosh of the flame as fats sizzles in a pan titillates viewers and the pirouetting performances in the kitchen mesmerizes diners in a way that few contemporary carvers can compete with. If further proof of the performative shift to the kitchen were needed, one would look no further than traditional theaters that have hosted the Korean traveling show Cookin’ Nanta. Set “behind the scenes” in a kitchen hired to prepare a last-minute feast, performers rhythmically chop cabbage into flying bits of vegetal confetti and slice zucchini into drooping flowers in the blink of an eye. The kitchen is, quite literally, the subject on stage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH7VPvkLsBg


Notes

[i]“Trending Now: Open Kitchens.” www.rwsmithco.com/community/restaurant-service-and-operations/10.31.2012

[ii] https://hbr.org/2014/11/cooks-make-tastier-food-when-they-can-see-their-customers

[iii] Bruni, 2005.

[iv] Performative carving has ancient antecedents. Ritualized slaughter as part of religious sacrifice is undoubtedly prehistoric, and, as noted by Barbara Santich, the Roman writer Juvenal describes carvers as prancing about at first century dinner parties, subject to the hosts’ whims. Nonetheless, it is only in the late medieval period that we can confidently ascribe a professionalized aesthetic to carving.

[v] Ishii Jihee. Zōho Nihon ryōrihō taizen (Encyclopedia of Japanese Cuisine), ed. Ishii Taijirō. Shinjinbutsu Ōraisha, 1977, trans. and quoted in Rath, 2010, p. 44. Ishii Jihee was the attributed author of an undated nineteenth century encyclopedia of Japanese cuisine, published by his son, Ishii Taijiro, in 1898. Rath, 2010, p. 42.

[vi] Ishii Jihee, trans. and quoted in Rath, 2010, p. 44.

[vii] Ishii Jihee, trans. and quoted in Rath, 2010, pp. 45-6; 49

[viii] Blood, slaughter, and passion were no problem for Razan, who also recommended drinking the blood of a white crane to increase virility. Rath, 2008, p. 46; Rath, 2010, pp. 39-41,

[ix] Rath, 2010, pp. 48-51.

[x] C. Calviac, Civilité, quoted in Elias, 1994,  p. 74.

[xi] Furnivall, [1869] 1997, pp. 265, 271-2.

[xii] Antoine de Courtin, Nouveau traité de civilité, quoted in Elias, 1994, p. 97.

[xiii] Aronja, 1960.

[xiv] Rose, 1682, p. 20

[xv] Rose, pp. 18-22.

[xvi] Rose, p. 19.

[xvii] Rose, p. 50.

[xviii] The carving of fruits into fanciful shapes is an exception to this statement.

[xix] Rose, p. 25.

[xx] La Reynière, [1808], pp.42, 50.

[xxi] Montagné, 1961, p. 218.

[xxii] See generally, Kaufman, “Structuring the Meal.”


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Online

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Bruni, Frank. 2005. “Yes, the Kitchen is Open. Too Open.” The New York Times.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/27/dining/yes-the-kitchens-open-too-open.html

Cookin’ NANTA, Highlights 1, published Oct. 22, 2014,
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Harvard Business Review Staff, “Cooks Make Tastier Food When They Can See Their Customers.” Nov. 2014.
https://hbr.org/2014/11/cooks-make-tastier-food-when-they-can-see-their-customers


Biography of Cathy Kaufman