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Kitchens: Culture of Restaurant Work
Synopses & Reviews
Kitchens takes us into the robust, overheated, backstage world of the contemporary restaurant. In this rich, often surprising portrait of the real lives of kitchen workers, Gary Alan Fine brings their experiences, challenges, and satisfactions to colorful life. He provides a riveting exploration of how restaurants actually work, both individually and as part of a larger culinary culture. Working conditions, time constraints, market forces, and aesthetic goals all figure into the food served to customers—who often don't know quite what they're getting.
The kitchen is a place of constant compromise, of quirks, approximations, dirty tricks, surprises, and short cuts, as Fine demonstrates in his deft, readable narrative. He brings to life the complicated relationships among kitchen workers—servers, dishwashers, pantry workers, managers, restaurant critics, and customers—and reveals the effects of organizational structure on individual relations.
Book News Annotation:
A guide introducing CD-ROM technology to neophytes and providing more advanced users with standards and trouble shooting information, the text is arranged for simplicity of use, covering basics, tutorials on installation, networking and publishing, and applications. New terminology is defined within the discussions, technical portions are marked off, and the appendix includes a vendor guide for buyers. A CD-ROM sampling MS-DOS/Windows and Macintosh applications is included.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Kitchens takes us into the robust, overheated, backstage world of the contemporary restaurant. In this rich, often surprising portrait of the real lives of kitchen workers, Gary Alan Fine brings their experiences, challenges, and satisfactions to colorful life. A new preface updates this riveting exploration of how restaurants actually work, both individually and as part of a larger culinary culture.
"From the raw to the cooked, Kitchens takes us inside the fascinating world of restaurant work. But be prepared. Abandon preconceptions all ye who enter, for here's an original and important peek into the patois, the pecking order, the profits, and the people who produce what we eat when we eat out. . . . A real by-the-book example of superior occupational sociology, as it was meant to be."—Rob Faulkner, University of Massachusetts
"A carefully researched, brilliantly analyzed and elegantly described study of a major American industry. His negotiated order and combined interactional-structural approach is a model for sociological industries and organizations."—Anselm Strauss, University of California, San Francisco
Includes bibliographical references (p. 267-291) and index.
About the Author
Gary Alan Fine is John Evans Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University.
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