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258 × 200 × 26 mm
248 pages
158 illustrations, 80 in colour
15 Jul 2019

Dining Out A Global History of Restaurants Katie Rawson, Elliott Shore

A global history of restaurants beyond white tablecloths and maître d’s, this book presents restaurants as both businesses and as venues for a range of human experiences. From banquets in tenth-century China to the medicinal roots of French restaurants, the origins of restaurants are not singular – nor is the history this book tells. This book highlights stories across time and place, including how Chifa restaurants emerged from the migration of Chinese workers and their marriage to Peruvian businesswomen in nineteenth century Peru; how Alexander Soyer transformed kitchen chemistry by popularizing the gas stove, predating the pyrotechnics of molecular gastronomy by a century; and how Harvey Girls dispelled the ill repute of waiting tables, making rich lives for themselves across the American West. An informed and entertaining history that takes readers from the world’s first restaurants in Kaifeng to the latest high-end dining experiences.

‘What sets Rawson and Shore’s contribution apart from other histories of restaurant culture is their insight into not simply European restaurants, but their even more ancient Asian counterparts. Appearing in China in the twelfth century, restaurants developed at a time when Chinese cities held three times the population of European capitals. Expansion of trade routes meant that business people ended workdays far from home, and travelers from Sichuan yearned for familiar food even in northern provinces. Japan inaugurated ritualized, sophisticated food service, and women waited tables long before Harvey Girls appeared on the American frontier. Today’s foodies may be surprised to discover that farm-to-table cuisine appeared as early as nineteenth-century Manhattan, when Delmonico’s started its own Brooklyn farm to supply fresh produce. America’s burgeoning cities introduced an astonishing culinary range of ethnic foods, experimental chefs, and today’s ubiquity of fast food.’ — Booklist

‘A truly international survey of restaurant history. Flavorful and scintillating.’ — Paul Freedman, Chester D. Tripp Professor of History, Yale University

‘Rawson and Shore offer a tantalizing trip through the history of eating out from the first restaurants up to today. We meet the restaurant as a place that bristles with innovation, as an institution that has fundamentally altered the ways in which food is prepared, served, and consumed, and one that has itself undergone profound social transformations - in the kitchen staff, the service personnel, and the diners. This lavishly illustrated book and its lively text makes the reader hungry for more.’ — Dr Susan Pollock, Professor at Freie Universität Berlin (and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Harpur College, State University of New York at Binghamton)

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Katie Rawson is Director of Learning Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania and writes on food history.

Elliott Shore is professor of history emeritus at Bryn Mawr College, and has written on the history of restaurants, advertising and German-America.


1 Eating Away from Home: The Long History of Restaurants
2 The Restaurateur and You: The Private and the Public in the Early French Restaurants
3 Elite Eating and the Democratized Restaurant
4 The Menu and the Chef
5 The Maître d’ and the Waitress
6 Road Food
7 The Machine in the Restaurant
8 Chains and Local Gems
9 Global Dining

Photo Acknowledgements