Heritage à la Carte? An Approach to Food Heritage From Four Restaurants in Lima

Keywords: foode heritage, restaurants, heritage cuisines, food culture, Peru


This article aims to approach heritage cuisines from the perspective of those who sustain and promote it on a daily basis. Our focus differs from the most institutional views of food heritage, those promoted by governments, cultural promoters, economic agents and international organizations such as UNESCO. Taking as an example four restaurants of different types and status in the city of Lima, we will show how chefs, cooks and restaurateurs propose and perform “ordinary” versions of food heritage and how these are ruled by the use of representations, values ​​and hierarchies related to their individual histories and life projects. These heritage cuisines are characterized by allowing flexible ways of creation in accordance to the capacities and needs of those who run culinary and gastronomic businesses. In short, we will see that these cuisines prompt a view of food heritage as much more entrenched with the day-to-day and future challenges, than with the past and predetermined conceptions of culture.


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