This chapter explores changes in French cuisine in the twentieth century by looking at the factors that have reconfigured the culinary landscape over that period of time. It examines the place of French cuisine within the culinary order of a postwar, postmodern, postindustrial society characterized by both globalization and internationalization. Drawing on intensive interviews with leading chefs and restaurateurs in France and the United States, the chapter analyzes the profound changes of the past century and the skillful adjustments made by French culinary leaders as a consequence. In the highly dramatic, aggressive market economy of the twenty-first century, where television shows such as Iron Chef can elicit a strong response, cuisine entertains while culinary consumption and production compete. Television and the Internet encourage cultural entrepreneurs, the so-called “chefs without borders,” to venture out of the kitchen and maintain cultural visibility, whether by appearing on television, participating in international culinary competitions, taking part in charity events, publishing books, editing newsletters, or writing newspaper columns.
Keywords: French cuisine, globalization, internationalization, France, television shows, chefs, consumption, cultural entrepreneurs