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..Society of the Appetite

Celebrity Chefs Deliver Consumers

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Abstract:

The article forms part of broader research that interrogates the prevalence of food in the media and the paradigm shifts generated and perpetuated by new forms of media such as food television and the internet. This work departs from previous food research by concentrating not on what is communicated about food, but how it is communicated. The analysis is guided in part by Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle (1967), which offers a Marxist economic analysis of an increasingly image-dominated culture. With a primary focus on celebrity chefs, this paper argues two points. First, that celebrity chefs, like Hollywood stars, are overwhelmingly media products, implying an arbitrary relationship between food and celebrity. Second, that the real product of food media is not the celebrity chef, but the consumer. Food media creates a base of consumers whose appetites are literally and figuratively kept wanting; this is the new business of food.

Keywords: CELEBRITY CHEFS; DEBORD; MARX; MEDIA; SPECTACLE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/155280108X276050

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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