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Translational Cookery: Ferran Adrià's Regional Cosmopolitanism

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Abstract:

Departing from Jean-François Revel's differentiation between regional and international cooking on the grounds of translatability in Culture and Cuisine (Revel 1982), this paper examines Spanish chef Ferran Adrià's international cuisine through the lens of translation theory. I argue that translation is a way of thinking about food and that international cooks must translate the foreign into the receiving kitchen. In The Translator's Invisibility, Lawrence Venuti (1995) calls upon translators to apply "foreignizing strategies" which, by abusing familiar values, send readers abroad. I suggest that Adrià uses the following foreignizing or cosmopolitanizing strategies: hybridization, discontinuity, violence, performance, falsification and contradiction. Through them he separates food from the reality of eating and achieves international sanction. The last part of the paper, "Home Is Abroad," questions the demarcation line between the regional and the international in modern Europe.
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