The Rise of Gastronomic Capital in São Paulo, Brazil

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:15
Oral Presentation
Mauricio LAGES, University of São Paulo, Brazil
This research intents to discuss the connection between the expansion of restaurants in São Paulo in the last two decades, as the data point out, and the internationalization of gastronomy as a set of aesthetic protocols that inform the act of eating, contributing to its entry into the category of urban cultural practices. Based on an ethnographic approach, our intent is to question how consumers, cuisine chefs and entrepreneurs articulate these new references, consolidating globally-informed strategies of economic and cultural capitalization. Notably, these strategies are driven by bodily emphasis, since taste (in its double sense) is precisely what’s being organized by these different agents. Considering the emerging force of the global lifestyles, our intention is to address the way in which a new landscape of power and consumption is formed by joining together the gastronomic knowledge and the habit of eating out. In this context, there is also an increase in the scope of social normativity around food tastes, since new instances – restaurants, chefs, critics, gastronomy schools, TV shows, magazines, newspapers, digital apps – come to mediate more closely the choices of consumption, acting both in supply and demand. Therefore, eating out is increasingly part of “cultural capital” and contemporary relationship with food requires, more and more, a prior learning process and a sort of bodily knowledge acquisition that needs to be ethnographically investigated as such.