Cooking as Inquiry: A Method to Stir Up Prevailing Ways of Knowing Food, Body, and Identity

  • Jennifer Brady Queen's University


In this paper I develop a method of research that I call ‘cooking as inquiry’. This method seeks to add layers to the typically disembodied practices of social research that have long overlooked the body and the mundane rituals of foodmaking as sites of knowledge. Informed by autoethnography (Ellis and Bochner, 2000) and collective biography (Davies and Gannon, 2006), cooking as inquiry recognizes bodies and food as sites of knowledge and engages researchers as researcher-participants in reflexive, collaborative study that explores the ways in which the embodied self is performed relationally through foodmaking. In addition to a discussion of the epistemological and methodological frames of this method, I offer a case study that describes a project conducted by a colleague and myself.