Food Media

Food Media: Celebrity Chefs and the Politics of Everyday Interference

by Signe Rousseau

Signe Rousseau teaches critical literacy at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She is a contributing author to The Business of Food: Encyclopaedia of the Food and Drink Industry; Food Cultures of the World; Icons of American Cooking; The Oxford Companion to Food, and A Cultural History of Food, Volume 6: The Modern Age (2011) Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Berg, 2012
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    978-0-85785-083-6 (epub)

    978-1-35004-219-3 (online)

    978-0-85785-053-9 (paperback)

    978-0-8578-5052-2 (hardback)
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Food Media
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There have been famous chefs for centuries. But it was not until the second half of the twentieth century that the modern celebrity chef business really began to flourish, thanks largely to advances in media such as television which allowed ever-greater numbers of people to tune in.

Food Media charts the growth of this enormous entertainment industry, and also how, under the threat of the obesity "epidemic," some of its stars have taken on new authority as social activists, while others continue to provide delicious distractions from a world of potentially unsafe food. The narrative that joins these chapters moves from private to public consumption, and from celebrating food fantasies to fueling anxieties about food realities, with the questionable role of interference in people's everyday food choices gaining ground along the way.

Covering celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Rachael Ray, and popular trends like foodies, food porn and fetishism, Food Media describes how the intersections between celebrity culture and food media have come to influence how many people think about feeding themselves and their families - and how often that task is complicated when it need not be.