Don Quixote and the American Culinary Arts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The most recent generation of chefs in America is shifting the culinary
landscape to include Spanish cuisine. In part this trend is due to the
molecular gastronomy revolution of the nineties that began in Cata-
luña under the creative leadership of Ferran Adrià. But credit also lies
with one of Spain’s cultural icons whose presence has enhanced Spanish
restaurants in the United States for the past century: Don Quixote of La
Mancha. Throughout the twentieth century, the popularity of the Spanish
restaurant in the United States was intrinsically tied to Don Quixote; his
presence lent a certain authenticity to the establishment, perhaps even a
safe comfort zone that put patrons at ease. Into the twenty-first century,
Spanish cuisine has become further entrenched in the American culinary
scene, and although less visually connected toDon Quixote, Cervantes’s
masterpiece still shares an intimate space with chefs and food critics alike
who are renovating Spanish cuisine in America. This chapter explores the
connection between Cervantes’s most famous novel and the American
culinary arts by first bringing to light the presence of food inDon Quixote
and then considering the effect of both the novel and Spanish cuisine on
American dining and culinary sensibility.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationMillennial Cervantes: New Currents in Cervantes Studies
StatePublished - 2020


  • Arts and Humanities
  • Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature
  • Spanish Literature

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