Author:Olivier Wathelet (Institut Paul Bocuse)
Paper short abstract:
Cooking, as a practice using hands and tools, is often reduced to its gestural dimension even by experts themselves. To provide insight about cognitive and sensory dimensions of judgement made during cooking, an ethnographic method using video and explicitation interviews has been developed.
Paper long abstract:
Cooking, like many practices using hands and tools, is often reduced to its gestural dimension even by experts themselves. In the case of an industrially applied ethnographic study, we aimed to understand other dimensions of the skills needed to perform culinary tasks in professional and domestic setting. A general methodological sketch has been developed to provide insight about cognitive and sensory dimension of skills within a paradigm of distributed and situated cognition. Cooking activities were filmed and actions and decision procedure were elucidated thanks to explicitation interview strategies. By focusing on the sensory judgment occurring in the lived experience, the study focus on skills defined as situated performance - using beats of knowledge and information distributed in the culinary space - to described what is commonly describe as tacit knowledge.
By comparing two research strategies - in a semi-experimental setting (professional cook working in an experimental kitchen) and a "real-life" setting (domestic cooking) - I would like to foster the development of video-interview method in the field of sensory anthropology. In particular, I will discuss three issues:
- How far can we know what's in mind during a practical event?
- How to compare sensory abilities thanks to verbal data?
- How to connect daily activities to the semi-controlled task and artificial methods of video-interview?
Corporealities, cognition and the interview