“Best” restaurants and social media

I’m mulling over a study idea related to the “best” restaurants in the world and how that may (or may not) correlate to social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook) use. I’m wondering if there’s any possibility that Michelin stars indicate “stuffiness” (based on critiques like this one) and whether this has any bearing on a restaurant’s use of social media. I’m also thinking about comparing the full list of Michelin-starred restaurants worldwide to several other “world’s best” lists and seeing what I come up with. Any thoughts, foodies? Where do you get your restaurant recommendations if you want a “destination” meal?

The history of the restaurant

This past term I was excited to be able to take a course entitled “Food Matters,” which was the first instance that the keystone course for the Food Studies graduate specialization was offered at the University of Oregon.

We had a number of options available as final projects; one of them was a book review that would encompass at least two book-length texts. I used the opportunity to write an abbreviated history of the restaurant; this was based on the books The Invention of the Restaurant by Rebecca Spang and Smart Casual by Alison Pearlman. The former focuses on the first restaurants that emerged in Paris in the 18th century; the latter looks at the changes that have occurred in American restaurants since the mid-1970s.

Continue reading “The history of the restaurant”

Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts in Caper Cream Sauce

I wanted a hearty dinner but didn’t want to spend a lot of money or a lot of time on it. This recipe, which I found via AllRecipes, is really excellent and will be a regular addition to my rotation.

Book review: Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces

For those of us who are interested in studying mobile technologies (i.e., mobile phones or smartphones), there are a number of very good and fairly recent texts out there that approach the subject from quite specific points of view1, but there are relatively few texts that consider the mobile phone to be an interface2 between the user and the larger world.

Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces: Locational Privacy, Control, and Urban Sociability by Adriana de Souza e Silva and Jordan Frith takes this approach. Early on, they emphasize the importance of interfaces, stating that “they play a critical role in shaping interactions [of all kinds] and creating meaning” (p. 2), as they filter information and actively reshape communicative relationships (p. 4). Continue reading “Book review: Mobile Interfaces in Public Spaces”