Past Online Research Talks

CHEFS is delighted to host a series of online research talks, covering the varied terrain of the socio-cultural dimensions of food and drink. Thanks to Zoom, we are able to virtually bring in speakers from around the world to share their research. When possible, recordings will be available after the live event. All welcome: local and global, students and staff, practitioners and public. Please feel free to share with your networks.

PAST TALKS 2022-23:

Date: Tuesday 13 June 2023 Recording available here

SHARe-CHEFS PAIRED PAPERS SESSION: Exploring Human Appetite and Eating Behaviour

Dietary strategies for improving healthy life expectancy – the role of appetite research
Presenter: Dr Miriam Clegg, University of Reading
Abstract: Increased feelings of hunger and lack of satiety is linked to reduced adherence to weight loss interventions and difficulties in weight loss maintenance. With 63.8% of the population overweight or obese in England, appetite research has been suggested as a useful tool to reduce calorie intake. On the opposite side of the appetite narrative, a large section of the population are at risk of malnutrition, with or without obesity. UK life expectancy has increased through the 20th and 21st Centuries, yet there is little evidence that these gains in life expectancy are always translated to increased years living in good health for older adults, when compared to previous generations. A nutritious diet is recognised as essential for healthy aging, well-being, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and the rate of functional decline, and changes to lifestyle (i.e. diet, nutrition and physical activity) can maintain or improve body composition, cognitive and mental health, immune function and vascular health in older adults. Research often cites that 1/10 adults aged 65+ is malnourished or at risk of malnutrition based on 2015 statistics, however recent research from Age UK highlights that this may be even higher since the pandemic (2). Contrary to common belief, nutritional needs only decrease marginally with age, and are sometimes higher than the needs of younger individuals. Protein is a good example. The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) and the PROT-AGE Study Group have advised that a healthy older adult’s recommended daily protein intake should be increased to 1-1.2g/kg to maintain functionality, independence and fight infection. Protein is also known to be the most satiating macronutrient, and strategies to improve protein intake in older adults need to ascertain if increases in protein intake are like to impact overall food intake. Recent research from our group has used strategies to increase protein intake in older adults, focusing on foods that are liked and consumed by older adults (3). In the future, designing and producing a food environment that meets the diverse needs of older adults should work with them in the creation of bespoke, equitable interventions (4).
References: [1] Yakubu AH, Platts K, Sorsby A et al. (2023) J Funct Foods 102, 105471; [2] Age UK (2012) Understanding Society: COVID-19 Study; [3] Smith R., Clegg M & Methven L. (2022) Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr DOI:  ; [4] Clegg M, Methven L, Lanham-New S et al . (2023) Nutr Bull. 48, 124-133.

Modulating eating behaviour with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
Presenter: Dr Jordan D Beaumont, Sheffield Hallam University
Abstract: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a form of non-invasive brain stimulation involving the application of a constant and weak electrical current to the brain, is a popular technique for changing cortical activity and downstream behaviour (1). There has been particular interest in the use of this technique in weight management, with an emphasis on changing eating behaviour. However, despite promising early findings, studies have failed to identify a consistent effect of tDCS across eating-related measures (2, 3). Our research explores the application of tDCS, and through this work we have established stimulation parameters that appear to produce a consistent change in eating behaviour, and identified populations who may benefit from this technique (4, 5). This paired papers talk will overview our recent studies applying tDCS to change eating-related measures across different population, and will consider the therapeutic use of this technique in weight management.
References: [1] Filmer et al. (2014) Trends Neurosci; 37, 742-753, ; [2] Fregni et al. (2008) Appetite; 51 (1), 34-41, ; [3] Beaumont et al. (2021) Appetite; 157, 105004, ; [4] Beaumont et al. (2022) Obesity Reviews; 23 (2), e13364, ; [5] Beaumont et al. (2022) Psychosomatic Medicine; 84 (6), 646-657,


Date: Thursday 11 May 2023 Recording available here

SWEFS-CHEFS PAIRED PAPERS SESSION: Food Waste and Working with Vulnerable Participants

Primary school children’s responses to food waste at school
Professor Dorothy Yen, Brunel University
Abstract:  This paper seeks to understand children’s responses to food waste in school by exploring children’s views on food waste and empowering them to discuss and develop their own solutions. Using creative problem-solving approach and photovoice technique, the authors conducted focus group discussions with 28 primary school children in the UK. Findings suggested that the children have a clear understanding of the consequences of food waste for individuals, society, and the environment. They displayed negative emotions concerning food waste and responded positively to the possibility of food recycling. Their solutions to reduce food waste will require multiple stakeholder engagement, including self-regulation, peer-monitoring, teacher supervision and family support. However, rather than relying on intervention schemes that require significant adult involvement, children placed a heavy emphasis on self-regulation, playing an active role in addressing food waste in school. This research extends previous understanding, by showing children as agentic consumers who can shape food waste solutions in school. These findings are of use to primary teachers and local education authorities, to aid children in developing their own solutions to reduce food waste in their own schools. 

Sustainable value co-creation at the Bottom of the Pyramid: using mobile applications to reduce food waste and improve food security 
Dr Chrysostomos Apostolidis, Assistant Professor in Marketing , Durham University; Dr David M. Brown, Associate Professor in Marketing, Heriot-Watt University
Abstract: Mobile apps redistributing surplus food are receiving increased attention for their sustainability benefits. Nevertheless, there is limited research on the opportunities created for businesses to penetrate the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) market. Drawing on Service-Dominant (S-D) logic, affordance and means-end theories, this study investigates how food waste mobile apps can support sustainable value co-creation at the BoP. Using a laddering approach, data were collected through semi-structured interviews in Sri Lanka. Despite similarities in respondents’ perceptions of app functions, there are noticeable gaps in the perceived affordances and end goals, which may challenge the value co-creation process. Additionally, opportunism, stigma and goal misalignment may result in value co-destruction, i.e. the diminishment of value through stakeholder interactions. Our findings demonstrate that to develop technologies which enable value co-creation, an in-depth understanding of factors driving perceptions of value is essential.


Date: Thursday 9 March 2023 Recording (paper 2) available here 

CHEFS PAIRED PAPERS SESSION: Food, Drink, and Discourse

‘The once-despised beetroot is treated with distinction’: Austerity chic in the Daily Telegraph’s cookery columns during World War II
Joanne Hollows (freelance researcher and writer)
Abstract: Despite their enormous potential as a resource for understanding food history, newspaper cookery columns have remained a relatively unexplored form of food media. Often anonymous newspaper food writers act as cultural intermediaries who help to construct the wider foodscape at particular historical moments. During World War II, newspaper recipe columns were a valuable source of advice and information on the impact of changing national food policy, offering guidance on how to source and prepare available foods in a period of restriction and scarcity. Like many other newspapers, the Telegraph appeared to endorse the government’s message about ‘equality of sacrifice’ in the national interest and privileged the values of economy, moderation and frugality in its food columns. However, I demonstrate how the newspaper mobilized particular values and techniques to elevate and distinguish its readers’ food practices within an egalitarian morality by using allegedly equal resources in distinctive ways. This was achieved through appeals to both tradition and modernity, to a conservative rural Englishness and cosmopolitan tastes and to gastronomic values, and through the application of culinary technique. While higher class women may have had far less opportunity to practice distinction through their choice of goods due to wartime restrictions, the Telegraph’s anonymous cookery writers demonstrated how the mode of consumption of widely available foods could be used to maintain class hierarchies while avoiding the moral taint of luxurious eating.

Toward a New Lexicon for Wine (recording link above)
Meg Maker (wine and food writer and artist)
Abstract: The wine industry relies on wine communicators to persuade global consumers to discover and taste new wines, yet the contemporary lexicon leans heavily on Eurocentric tropes and analogies; broad, pseudo-objective pronouncements; and numeric point scores which reveal little of a wine’s aesthetic impact. Such lexicographic and numeric systems are wine-centric rather than consumer-centric, and yet they are perpetuated by the formal wine educational programs required to earn professional credentials (sommelier, educator) to work with customers. Adding complexity is the recent proliferation of digital wine search platforms, which, in codifying the lexicon, require searches using these terms. The net effect can be gatekeeping to new wine drinkers, alienating them as the industry tries to address its shrinking footprint. Wine communicators seeking to work in a way that is more personal and persuasive must learn to diversify both their language and their mindset, bringing into the discourse not only the specific qualities of a wine but also the cultural, aesthetic, chemical, organoleptic, emotional, and other facets of wine writ large, specifically as seen from the perspectives of the potential consumers. Through a series of discussions with wine writers, editors, lexicographers, library scientists, and other communication professionals, we review the existing lexicon to explore its successes and shortcomings. We then offer suggestions for re-imagining new approaches and new ways to discuss wine that are more inclusive, diverse, and accessible.


DATE: Wednesday 7 December 2022 Recording available here

Is there space for farmers’ voice in the food supply chain?: A story-telling/listening experiment with Indian farmers and UK- based consumers
Maria Touri (University of Leicester)
Abstract: The UN’s agenda for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is heavily focused on the economic, environmental, and social resilience of Southern farming communities. Yet, subjective dimensions of social well-being that are indirectly linked to food production are often neglected. Among these is the potentially harmful impact of stereotypical representations of Southern food growers, in public communication i.e., advertising, and promotional material. Food brands and organizations such as the Fairtrade foundation typically rely on portraits that objectify food growers and silence their voices. But do these discursive embodiments matter for farmers’ well-being? And is there space for farmers’ own voices and stories in the food supply chain? The presentation attempts to tackle these questions with a participatory video storytelling experiment. This was conducted in collaboration with a group of farmers in South India and consumers in the UK who engaged in a long-distance communication through short videos produced by the farmers. The farmers’ videos and self-representation elicited subjective and material benefits for both groups, highlighting the centrality of representation for human development and social justice. At the same time, creating a space for voice expression and listening will remain utopian without a concerted effort from trading and development organizations.


Date: Wednesday 9 November 2022 Recording available here (both presentations)

PAIRED PAPERS SESSION: Food, Economic Imaginaries and Entrepreneurship 

Why taste dealers matter: authenticity and distinctiveness among food truck operators
Alessandro Gerosa (University of Birmingham)
Abstract: This talk will explore how Italian gourmet food truck operators – in the guise of intermediaries of taste between macroeconomic imaginaries and individual consumers – concretely produce claims of authenticity for omnivorous seekers. Based on ethnographic research composed of 20 semi-structured interviews with food truck micro-entrepreneurs, the talk will focus on three main implications. First, the adoption of the perspective of food truck operators highlights the reflexive and market-bounded nature of omnivorous taste reproduction. Moreover, authenticity emerges as a relational quality, possessing a clear normative dimension on players under the street food – and more in general the neo-craft – economic imaginary. Finally, the centrality of regionalism in the Italian production of authenticity suggests that localism, too, has been subsumed by global food imaginaries and expresses a cosmopolitan attitude: “gourmet” food must be authentic to be recognised by omnivores and distinctive – through exoticism or localism – to be successful on markets. Together, these contributions point toward the relevance of ‘the context of context’ in consumer studies, suggesting the usefulness to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the cultural political economy at play behind the formation of taste.

Organic food micro producers’ share in neoendegenous local development – case of Croatia
Jasmina Božić (University of Zagreb)
Abstract: The talk will present results of qualitative research conducted by semi-structured interviews with twenty-nine micro entrepreneurs in organic production of fruits and vegetables from all the twenty Croatian counties and the City of Zagreb. The results indicated self-help as the currently prevalent mode of production, which reflected in both motivations for entering in organic agriculture, and in daily mode of operation of the micro entrepreneurs. As we were interested in how the currently practised self-help could be brought closer to development based on neondegenous principles, our analysis went beyond the level of individual motivations, beliefs and ways of self-presentation, and encompassed participants’ involvement in sectoral associations and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups, as well as their engagement in inter-sectoral partnerships, such as Local Action Groups (LAGs). We also inquired into producers’ marketing and distribution practices, as well as their relations with customers. Presenting a summary of participants’ perspectives on these various aspects of their entrepreneurship, the talk will try to outline a panoramic view of micro organic production of fruits and vegetables in Croatia, and draw some policy implications, hopefully facilitating smoother transition from the currently prevalent self-help towards development based on neoendogenous principles premised on stronger multi-level, inter-organizational and inter-sectoral linkages.


Date: Monday 17 October 2022 Recording available here (both presentations)

PAIRED PAPERS SESSION: Children’s Food, Feeding and Inequality 

Food matters: Class differences in feeding, eating, and culinary tastes
 Irmak Karademir Hazir (Oxford Brookes University)
There has been a growing interest in exploring class differences in food consumption practices, especially after the cultural turn in-class analysis. Drawing on a Bourdieusian framework, studies from different national contexts have shown how culinary tastes contribute to the construction of class identities and boundaries. However, this literature paid little attention to how classed notions shape child feeding practices and contribute to the reproduction of tastes intergenerationally. To fill this gap, this paper will bring a class consumption focus together with parenting studies and approach feeding as encompassing a wide range of processes including cooking, shopping, and planning. To capture the lived experience of feeding work, the study draws on a longitudinal and ethnographic study conducted in the southeast of England over the course of two years. The analysis suggests that, regardless of their resources, parents tend to internalize the dominant discourse on “healthy” and “varied” feeding. However, closer inspection of day-to-day practices reveals a nuanced class-cultural patterning in how these terms are defined and achieved. Moreover, it reveals how different interpretations of key notions such as homemade, nutritious, and balanced generate practices that contribute to the cultivation of distinctively classed culinary agencies in children. This study also questions what potential role these understandings can play in reproducing taste hierarchies and maintaining symbolic boundaries from very early ages.

‘It’s the noise of the snacks!’: School meals on the fringes and frail food pedagogies
Presenter: Filippo Oncini (University of Manchester)
Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted during recess and lunch in a primary school sited in a deprived Palermitan neighbourhood, this paper sheds light on the (dis)functioning of food pedagogies in a school on the fringes of society. During recess, teachers use food rules to highlight transgressions, but not to improve food literacy. Likewise, their efforts during lunchtime are devoted solely to keeping children under control, while trying to get to the end of lunch as soon as possible. Ultimately, both eating occasions are seldom opportunities for food education, as teachers’ primary focus is on preventing or halting children’s restlessness and skirmishes. I conclude by outlining some limitations and strengths of the ethnography while reflecting on the findings vis-à-vis previous fieldwork I conducted in less challenging contexts.


PAST TALKS 2021-22:

Date: Thursday 30 June 2022 Recording available here (both presentations; see addendum below)
PAIRED PAPERS SESSION: Craft, Kinship and Colonialism

‘Working by hand and as a family…it could become your life’: Biography and kinship in the narratives of craft gin distillers
Presenter: Thomas Thurnell-Read (Loughborough University)
Abstract: Both in theory and in practice, the concept of craft is bound up with notions of autonomy and self-expression whereby the craft product is viewed as an expression of the maker’s own taste and character. Drawing on 20 interviews with independent gin distillery workers conducted between July 2017 and February 2018, this paper will address the centrality of biographical reflections of personal growth, development and self-realization to craft distiller narratives. While these narratives tend to foreground the heroic individual craft entrepreneur who invests their selfhood into the product they make and sell, the paper will also consider the involvement of family and kin to the operations of many craft businesses. For a number of participants, working together with spouses or siblings brings benefits and challenges, the negotiation of which are framed as a process of better understanding the personal relationships that are integral to the sustainability of many craft drinks businesses.

Recipes for crafting authenticity and coloniality
Presenter: Belinda Zakrzewska (University of Sussex); paper co-authored with Michael Beverland and Stephan Manning
Abstract: This paper sheds light on the dark side of craft by examining how local elites project images of craft and coloniality through claims of authenticity in postcolonial contexts. We focus on the contemporary Peruvian culinary field where elite chefs are spearheading a new cuisine based on the appropriation of cultural elements of native indigenous communities. Drawing on an ethnography of the new Peruvian cuisine, we find that elite chefs project images of craft through three authenticity claim-making practices: the rediscovery, reinterpretation, and revaluation of marginalized cultural elements. However, these overtly celebrated practices disguise practices of extraction, elevation, and exploitation of marginalized cultures whereby the logic of coloniality operates. From this, we make two contributions to the literature on craft authenticity: we put forth a process model of domestic cultural appropriation where images of craft and coloniality are two sides of the same coin and we uncover the enchanting role of craft-based authenticity claims in concealing the reproduction of coloniality.
Addendum to the Q&A: Regarding the answer to a question about the nutritional value of indigenous ingredients: my data provided insights related to the field of sociology, but here are some papers that might be of interest to scholars in the field of nutrition:

  • Regarding cushuro (nostoc sphaericum), it is high in nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, and iron. For more information on its nutritional value, please see: Shengnan Zhu, Jicheng Xu, Benu Adhikari, Weiqiao Lv & HuizhiChen (2022): Nostoc sphaeroides Cyanobacteria: a review of its nutritional characteristicsand processing technologies, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, DOI:10.1080/10408398.2022.2063251
  • Regarding tarwi (lupinus mutabilis), as I mentioned, it has a high content of protein and, while it has received less attention in comparison to other Andrean grains such as quinoa and its different varieties, it is used by some elite chefs in their restaurants. For more information on its nutritional value, please see: F. E. Carvajal-Larenas, A. R. Linnemann, M. J. R. Nout, M. Koziol & M. A. J. S. van Boekel (2016) Lupinus mutabilis: Composition, Uses, Toxicology, and Debittering, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 56:9, 1454-1487, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2013.772089


Date: Wednesday 23 March 2022 Recording available here (both presentations)

“Pub-ageddon”! Risk, responsibility and alcohol licensing in England during COVID-19 pandemic
Presenter: Joanna Reynolds (Sheffield Hallam University)
Abstract: In response to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, restrictions were placed in the UK (and elsewhere) on outlets selling alcohol, to help curb virus transmission. While shops and off-licences were deemed ‘essential’, multiple restrictions were imposed on on-premises outlets such as pubs and bars. In this presentation I will examine media reporting of these restrictions and the discursive framings of problems relating to alcohol licensing changes in news media in England. These intersecting, and sometimes conflicting framings highlighted a range of risks and responsibilities arising from licensing restrictions and changes. These issues were attributed first to licence premises and their owners, and ‘problematic’ drinking practices, and then latterly to problematic policy responses, leading to a ‘victimisation’ of licensed premises. Social disorder, rather than direct harms to health, was commonly presented as a key risk of alcohol provision during the pandemic, reflecting long-standing traditions of media reporting on alcohol in the UK. Building on this analysis, I will also introduce developing research exploring at the impacts of COVID-19 changes on policies that shape the local alcohol environment, in England and Wales.

Sustainability in the beer and pub industry during the COVID-19 period: An emerging new normal
Presenter: Pallavi Singh (Sheffield Hallam University)
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic created significant challenges for the British pub industry, due to the uncertain conditions caused by the virus, changes in consumption patterns and government measures. Studies recommend that organisations adopt innovative and flexible business models to generate added value for customers and other stakeholders as a survival and growth strategy. However, such measures require business ecosystems which encourage co-creative engagement. This qualitative study extends the concept of value co-creation beyond its current boundary as a customer-driven experiential paradigm, reconceptualising it as a driver for societal benefits. Over the period March – December 2020, we carried out in-depth interviews with pub and brewery owners, managers, and customers, combined with netnographic and offline observations of pubs’ engagement with customers. We uncovered three stages of strategies and innovation during this period, which we term ‘survive’, ‘secure’, and ‘sustain’. We demonstrate how multiple stakeholders benefit from the innovations of pubs and breweries negotiating each stage, advancing current scholarship on sustainable value co-creation.


Date: Thursday 10 February 2022 Recording available here (both presentations)

A foraging examination of pub and beer choice behaviour
Presenter: Nadine Waehning and Victoria Wells (University of York Management School)
Abstract: This presentation is a preview of a paper which is currently work in progress. The authors are Victoria Wells, Nadine Waehning, Kathryn E. Arnold and Ignazio Cabras. Purpose: The paper examines the consumer choice of drinks and pubs and as well how these two choices are interrelated. Due to the intertwined nature of choice behaviours, we use Foraging Theory (Winterhalder and Smith, 1981) to examine pub visiting, due to its ability to handle both between patch (pub) choices and within patch choices (brand/product), and overall aspects of consumption from search and identification, through procurement, digestion, post-purchase behaviours simultaneously, as well as incorporating temporal and social aspects. Design/methodology/approach: The study follows a mixed methods approach containing three key types of data collection: a survey, journaling data through an app and a final in-depth interview. Findings: Initial findings highlight the currency (or choice criteria), an important component of foraging models, which consumers use to choose both pubs and, within them, drinks/beers. Originality: This is the first work to examine pub and drinking behaviour using the lens of foraging theory and in particular the ecology model of consumer behaviour (Wells, 2012). It is also the first to examine the intertwined nature of these consumer behaviours.

Narratives of craft and authenticity in the formation of the Brazilian craft beer market 
Presenter: Andrey Sgorla (University of Siena)
Abstract: The growth of the craft beer market involves a number of attractions for would-be producers and consumers, including a high degree of autonomy, passion, and work as a hobby in small businesses, where brewers use “intuitive knowledge”, as well as time flexibility to make craft beers. As handcrafted products, craft beers have been associated with identity markers and notions of “authenticity”, with a range of economic and cultural attributes. The talk draws from multi-method PhD research on Brazilian craft beer, which included interviews, visits to breweries, participation in festivals and netnography. In the talk, I explore how Brazilian microbrewery owners’ narratives about craft and authenticity are used as market devices to legitimise their products, gaining recognition within the market and building consumer relations in the context of the new spirit of capitalism. Storytelling strategies not only “enrich” the product; they also encourage individuals to locate pleasure through work, and perceive value in terms of identity and lifestyle rather than monetary terms.


Date: Wednesday 10 November 2021 Recording available here
Authenticity, legitimacy, and the racial politics of ceviche
Presenter: Nino Bariola (University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Creative and artistic producers from racialized social groups are often evaluated through differentiated and exclusionary logics and they must deal with critics’ and consumers’ expectations about how they represent a general or specific ethnic category. While some studies have depicted how creative producers conform to authenticity standards and expectations, we know less about how they do authenticity work while at the same time seeking aesthetic mobility and consecration. To tackle this question, this article reconstructs how and why Peruvian chefs recently used and transformed Peruvian-style ceviche to promote their gastronomy worldwide with considerable success. A marginal dish in Peru’s culinary repertoire until the 1990s—when the country was facing a harsh period of civil war, hyperinflation, and a cholera epidemic—ceviche then rapidly gained presence in some of the world’s best restaurants and became the flagship of an emergent gastronomy. I argue that chefs purposefully chose ceviche because of the dish’s ability to convey authenticity and to foreground Peruvian cuisine’s resemblance to Japan’s culinary tradition. Given Japan’s presence in the higher echelons of the culinary hierarchy, Peruvian chefs used ceviche to highlight the prevalence of Japan’s influence in their gastronomy. They situate and contextualize Japanese legacies in their culinary repertoire by mobilizing a historic discourse of mestizaje (i.e. racial and cultural mixing), thus avoiding potential threats to their authenticity claims.


Date: Friday 15 October 2021 Recording available here
Food, laneways and public art: The gastronomic transformation of Melbourne
Presenters: Dr Warwick Frost and Dr Jennifer Frost (La Trobe University)
Abstract: In the 1980s, Melbourne was increasingly characterised as a ‘doughnut city’ in which night-time activities had deserted the Central Business District. A number of strategic policy reforms paralleling organic developments in public street art led to the rise of a strong cafe culture which reinvigorated the city and which has become central to the city’s destination marketing campaigns. Melbourne’s cafe culture was particularly characterised by small independent operators presenting themselves as cutting edge and in tune with the latest developments in artistic culture and environmental sustainability. This presentation outlines these changes, the challenges they have brought and explores attempts by other cities to replicate them.