Australian Culinary Television: Visions of the Real
Ideas of the real are pervasive in contemporary food television programmes, reflecting a broader concern with the real that permeates current Western-centric popular cultural forms. This paper examines television representations of the real in the Australian culinary programme Gourmet Farmer, a series based on the life of host, Matthew Evans, as he creates a new identity as a Tasmanian farmer. It finds that the real is utilised as a powerful form of branding which guides viewers towards alternative forms of consumption, constructed as sustainable and ethical in contrast with non-discretionary consumption associated with mass food production systems. In investigating the television construction of a lifestyle based on artisanal food production and consumptions, this paper explores the aspirations of viewers and the meanings with which food is embedded in this text.
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