Rick Bayless as a Cultural Vampire in the TV Series Mexico, One Plate at a Time

Andrew R. Holzman


In “Mexico: One Plate at a Time,” Rick Bayless presents himself as a tourist guide who exports an idealized version of Mexican culture for the American bourgeois seeking an escape from his/her banal existence ruled by work. Here we can distinguish instances of “commodity fetishism” (Marx) and “cultural vampirism” (Žižek), since Bayless behaves as a “vampire” by sucking the cultural wealth of Mexico and stripping Mexican cuisine from its local context, rendering the complex geopolitical relationship between Mexico and the United States invisible. To demonstrate this, we juxtapose the representation of gastronomical products with historical and anthropological sources to trace the commercialization process of the former.


commodity fetishism, cultural appropriation, Rick Bayless; cultural capital; taste discrimination;


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22201/cisan.24487228e.2018.2.345


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