Profitable Kitchens, Charitable Kitchens

Everyday Forms of Persistence in a Social Restaurant

  • Yann Cerf Haute École de travail social - HES-SO, Genève
Keywords: ethnography, food aid, restaurant work, gift economies, resistance, neoliberalism


What is a social restaurant? By contrasting two ethnographic experiences (an apprenticeship in a gourmet kitchen and fieldwork as an anthropologist and cook in a charity kitchen), this article offers a description of the constraints on the provisioning and preparation of free meals in a charitable kitchen. The literature on subaltern resistances and on the invisibility of domestic work provides the framework for a description of the daily forms of persistence and resistance that make the precarious work of actors in the charitable world possible.

Author Biography

Yann Cerf, Haute École de travail social - HES-SO, Genève

Yann Cerf is a research assistant on the project “Going Hungry in the Land of Plenty: An Anthropological Approach to Food Aid in Switzerland” (2019–2022; HETS, Geneva, HES-SO). Previously, while on the project “Pragmatique des écritures mino ritaires” (LabEX TransferS; ANR-10 IDEX-0001-02 PSL* and ANR-10 LABX-0099), he carried out a three-month field trip in Bolivia, in the Quechua speaking Andes. He received his CAP Cuisine in 2019, in Marseille.

How to Cite
Cerf, Yann. 2021. “Profitable Kitchens, Charitable Kitchens: Everyday Forms of Persistence in a Social Restaurant”. TSANTSA – Journal of the Swiss Anthropological Association 26 (June):139-52.