The Cuisine Culture from a Polish Perspective. How Popular TV Programmes Use Cooking to Create a Modern Lifestyle and Present the New Middle Class

Monday, July 14, 2014: 5:45 PM
Room: Booth 57
Oral Presentation
In the aftermath of the events of 1989, Polish society faced many changes. One of them was an invasion of global cusine culture. I would like to research how did the typical Polish city change under the influence of the culinary culture and TV cooking programmes? I am interested in how the culinary culture is currently used to promote the values of the consumerist society, such as competition, rivalry, pleasure, and entertainment.

 I would like to present the examples of the popular TV series “The Cooked” and “The Kitchen Revolutions”. Both of them play a very important role in changing Polish attitudes to cuisine and its meaning in social life. The programme “The Cooked” presents young representatives of the new middle class from big and global cities which are the beneficiaries of the Polish transformation in 1989. They treat the cuisine culture as a very instrumental way to present their social status and proof of their place in the global community.

 The second example is a TV series called “The Kitchen Revolutions”. The main character is a famous Polish chef who visits different restaurants in Poland and helps the owners change not only material aspects of their restaurants, but also the owners’ general attitude towards the cuisine culture. The process of changing the material and aesthetic vision of restaurants also creates opportunities to compare global imagination about cuisine culture with the local tradition of nutrition.

 Both popular TV programmes create possibilities to define attitudes towards inequality and the differences between the global cities and other parts of the country. The cuisine culture and its popularity can be treated as an instrument to understand the process of changing the rules of lifestyles and construction of the new middle class in the new democracies.