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Peru: Discussing “Gastrofascism”

Categories: Latin America, Peru, Arts & Culture, Citizen Media, Ideas

About a month ago, Javier Puente published on Selecting Stones [1], a critical article about the surge of Peruvian cuisine and, above all, about the role chef Gastón Acurio [2] has in it. According to its author, Peasant and Chef: The Limits of Peruvian Gastro-Fascism, 1994-2012 [3] is an attempt to “contextualize the foundation of this new Shangri-La of Peruvian cuisine, so those who come later make a better job, filling in the remaining gaps”. Once in matter, explains:

In Acurio’s world without social classes, there is nonetheless an organic social corps, a body composed of compartments by which all the actors of the culinary boom are defined. […] The cult of the nation is replaced by the cult of the pot, and no one is left aside from this compartmentalization.

He also refers to an alleged racist discrimination case against María Huamaní, who died in an accident [4] [es] along with other chefs, to show the limits of this nationalist culinary rhetoric, in spite of its inclusive stand. On the blog Equilibrios, Manuel José Ayulo points out [5] [es] that the article fails on the concept of “fascism” itself that it uses, and adds:

almost any economic activity that gets across with an optimistical, national and conciliatory discourse would end by falling in some sort of fascism, according to [Javier] Puente's description.