Cheffes de Cuisine: Women and Work in the Professional French Kitchen

(University of Illinois Press, 2021)

Though women enter France’s culinary professions at higher rates than ever, men still receive the lion’s share of the major awards and Michelin stars. Rachel E. Black looks at the experiences of women in Lyon to examine issues of gender inequality in France’s culinary industry. Known for its female-led kitchens, Lyon provides a unique setting for understanding the gender divide, as Lyonnais women have played a major role in maintaining the city’s culinary heritage and its status as a center for innovation. Voices from history combine with present-day interviews and participant observation to reveal the strategies women use to navigate male-dominated workplaces or, in many cases, avoid men in kitchens altogether. Black also charts how constraints imposed by French culture minimize the impact of #MeToo and other reform-minded movements.

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Wine and Culture: Vineyard to Glass

(Bloomsbury, 2013), Co-edited with Robert Ulin.

Wine is one of the most celebrated and appreciated commodities around the world. Wine writers and scientists tell us much about varieties of wines, winegrowing estates, the commercial value and the biochemistry of wine, but seldom address the cultural, social, and historical conditions through which wine is produced and represented. This path-breaking collection of essays by leading anthropologists looks not only at the product but also beyond this to disclose important social and cultural issues that inform the production and consumption of wine. The authors show that wine offers a window onto a variety of cultural, social, political and economic issues throughout the world. The global scope of these essays demonstrates the ways in which wine changes as an object of study, commodity and symbol in different geographical and cultural contexts. This book is unique in covering the latest ethnography, theoretical and ethnohistorical research on wine throughout the globe. Four central themes emerge in this collection: terroir; power and place; commodification and politics; and technology and nature. The essays in each section offer broad frameworks for looking at current research with wine at the core.

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Porta Palazzo: The Anthropology of an Italian Market

(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012)

Why do open-air markets still exist in modern European cities? How have these age-old urban institutions survived in the face of modernization and what are their economic and social functions in the age of the hypermarket and shopping mall? Anthropologists have studied open-air markets in the past; however, these institutions deserve renewed attention in the face of drastic changes in food provisioning and eating habits. In addition, markets should be studied as important places of sociability in cities where public spaces are increasingly deserted and inhospitable. This ethnographic study of the Porta Palazzo market in Turin, Italy investigates the way in which identities and social relations are negotiated through the everyday activities of the market. This book reconsiders the importance of the market as a field for ethnographic study.

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Alcohol in Popular Culture: An Encyclopedia

(Greenwood/ABC Clio Press, 2010)

I am the editor of this A-Z encyclopedia, which takes a wide-ranging pop culture look at the topic of Alcohol in American life. The consumption of alcohol in not glamorized, but instead put it in its cultural context. This work looks primarily at the consumption of alcohol in contemporary American society, but also considers the wider historical and international associations when appropriate. There are books that look at the historical aspects of drink but there are no reference works that also take into consideration the contemporary and popular culture of alcohol and which bring together both the production and consumption of alcohol.

This book serves as a reference to students and educators studying the culture of alcohol and issues surrounding its consumption in North America. It will be an excellent resource for courses and programs that deal with health, addiction prevention and responsible alcohol consumption. Seeing alcohol within a cultural framework will promote a better understanding of issues surrounding its consumption in the United States in the past and present.

“a useful and thought-provoking resource for anyone interested in the social history and popular debates around alcohol use in the United States,” Matther Reid, Gastronomica, Summer 2012.

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