Meat and Three
Tastemakers: From Michelin Stars to Our Sense of Smell
We examine the forces and individuals that have shaped food culture, investigate how our tastes change with age, and ponder how taste is evaluated by arbiters like the Michelin Guide and food media. Chef Val Cantu of Californios, the only two-Michelin-star Mexican restaurant in the world, addresses racist stereotypes around Mexican food. We speak with author Mayukh Sen about his recent book, Taste Makers, which tells the stories of seven immigrant women who have influenced American cuisine. A brief look at the history of the Michelin Guide reveals the organization’s involvement in French colonialism, and accusations of cultural bias in the star selection process. Plus, we learn how our physical senses of taste and smell change over time.
If you are interested in dining at Californios, you can make reservations here.
Read more about Mayukh Sen’s book,Taste Makers, here.
For more information on the history of the Michelin Guide, go here. And for more on the history of Michelin in Vietnam, check this and this out. For the first person account referenced in the story, check out Tran Tu Binh’s memoir.
To learn more about Gary Beauchamp and his work at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, check out his profile. Dig further into how age impacts taste here and here.
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