Rebellion with a Cause? The Evolution of Our Hierarchy of Taste

Fancy Restaurant

French cuisine long reigned at the top of the culinary hierarchy, and fine dining meant dining French. Generations of chefs were trained to believe that their native cuisines could not compete with the standards of excellence imposed by well-codified techniques, a rigorous organizational system, and no fear of luxurious ingredients.

But tastes have changed. Today, chefs can earn three Michelin stars or the adoration of the media and the public with just about any cuisine. A new, global cohort of chefs celebrates their heritage by serving roots, tacos, and seaweeds rather than caviar and foie gras.

Nowhere can you witness more clearly this gastronomic rebellion than in New York, where cuisines from around the globe find a place to flourish. Taking both a historic and a forward-looking perspective, a panel of experts from the restaurant, academic, and media worlds will discuss which cuisines, restaurants, and chefs are emerging and why, what has made our current era the one when the separation from the French canon finally happened, and which cuisines might reign supreme in the foreseeable future.

Listen to this keynote recording from IACP’s 2018 conference on our conference resource site, here.

Krishnendu Ray is the Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at NYU. Prior to that he was a faculty member and an Associate Dean at The Culinary Institute of America. He is the author of The Migrant’s Table (2004), The Ethnic Restaurateur (2016), and the co-editor of Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food and South Asia (2012). He is currently the President of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS). 

Paul Freedman is a professor of history at Yale University where he has taught since 1997. His Ten Restaurants that Changed America, a way of looking at US food history through ten examples, was published in 2016. In 2007 Freedman edited Food: The History of Taste, which won a prize from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and has been translated into ten languages. His book Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination (2008), looks at the desire for spices in the Middle Ages and how it led to European exploration and conquest.

Anne E. McBride is a content provider, whether it is through writing, organizing conferences, or teaching. She holds a PhD in food studies from New York University and researches the changing role of the chef in the 21st century. Anne covers chefs and restaurants, global culinary events, and pastry for both consumer and academic audiences and is the co-author of six books, including Les Petits MacaronsPayard Cookies, and Culinary Careers. A native of Switzerland, Anne sits on the board of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and on the James Beard Foundation Awards Committee.

Kate Krader is the new Food Editor at Bloomberg Pursuits, where she writes about news and trends around the country and allover the world for the website and the magazine. She also contributes to the Bloomberg business division. She is the former restaurant editor at Food & Wine magazine, where she oversaw its news, trend and restaurant coverage. During her long tenure at the monthly magazine, she led Food & Wine’s annual search for Food & Wine Best New Chefs. She also edited theFood & Wine Cocktails, an annual guide to the hottest cocktail recipes, the best spots and the biggest trends in nightlife. A graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio, Krader received her formal culinary training at La Varenne in Paris. She resides in Manhattan.

Barbara Sibley was born and raised in Mexico City. Her interest in indigenous cuisines was deepened by her studies in Anthropology at Barnard College where she joined the Committee on the Barnard Medal. Her New York restaurant career began at age 17 at La Tulipe, a New York Times Three Star French Restaurant. Her extensive experience led her to open La Palapa Cocina Mexicana in 2000. As a truly authentic Mexican restaurant, La Palapa has been awarded the “Distinctivo” by Sabores Autenticos de Mexico Foundation. In both Mexico and the US, Sibley has guided press tours and travelled to Meredith for APEAM, the Mexican Avocado Producers and Distributors organization. La Palapa is known for its pioneer cocktail program in the use of infusions and flavors in tequilas, due to this Sibley has done extensive product development for corporations such as Kraft, Jose Cuervo, Sauza and Bacardi. As an expert in authentic Mexican cuisine at La Palapa, Sibley has appeared in many publications and on numerous television shows such as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, CBS Sunday, Chopped and NY1 en Español. Recently she cooked her award winning chili recipe on Good Day New York. She reported on Mexican Cuisine regularly on Martha Stewart Radio on the Sirius Radio Network and has taught Mexican cooking to children and adults at venues such as Macy’s, Whole Foods, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, The Culinary Loft, UMass at Amherst and the American Museum of Natural History. Sibley is a past President of the Board of the NY Women’s Culinary Alliance, on the Board of Directors of Les Dames D’Escoffier New York Chapter and is a member of the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. She has been awarded the “High Road” award for her labor practices by the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY). Sibley has lectured on Women Entrepreneurs at the Culinary Institute of America. She has received awards from SCORE, the SBDC and a DeWitt Stern Local Hero Award from A.R.T. NY for her support of Community Theater. Sibley is a Board Member of the non-profit Sara Curry Preschool at LMDN, a nursery school in the East Village since 1896. She has also worked to raise funds for the GO Project, the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, SHARE for Breast Cancer Survivors and AMFAR. Sibley has lectured on panels for the American Heart Association to grow the awareness of traditional Mexican and Latin American foods as being healthy super foods. She has testified before Congress regarding the need to increase the Federal tipped minimum wage as a gender issue affecting mostly single mothers and has met with Secretary of Labor Thomas Peres to discuss High Road restaurant policies. She has mentored many of her employees and has had students as interns as she feels it is important for them to have strong women as role models. In addition to her career as a restaurateur, since 1997 she has been Co-director and Founder, with her sister Jennifer Clement, of the San Miguel Poetry Week, an annual poetry conference in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Faculty poets have included Britain’s Poet Laureates Sir Andrew Motion and Carol Ann Duffy, US Poet Laureate Robert Hass, Pulitzer Prize winners such as Yusef Komunyakaa, W.S. Merwin, Stepehen Dunn, W.D. Snodgrass,Grace Schulman, Ruth Padel, Kathleen Graber, Leslie Ullman, Carolyn Kizer, Paul Muldoon, Christopher Merrill, Mark Doty, and many others. The San Miguel Poetry Week has been awarded a Rockefeller/FONCA grant for its work promoting cultural exchange between Mexican and US poets and writers. In 2009, she co-authored, Antojitos: Festive and Flavorful Mexican Small Plates, which was published by Ten Speed Press/ Random House. Since 2012 she has had the honor and pleasure of being part of the team restoring the Holiday Cocktail Lounge. An exercise in zen and archeology, as Creative Director her mission has been to preserve this important East Village landmark. In 2015 she opened a fast casual taquería La Palapa Taco Bar in the new Urbanspace Vanderbilt Market.

Photo: Wikicommons


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