From Chop Suey to Sushi, Champagne, and VIP Lounge

Culinary Entrepreneurship through Two Generations

in Social Analysis
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  • 1 Institute for Social Research anne.krogstad@sosgeo.uio.no
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During the last twenty to thirty years, a quiet culinary transformation has been going on in Norway—one that is surprisingly unobtrusive and scarcely ever mentioned. Many Norwegians have acquired new eating habits and a multicultural cuisine, indicating acceptance and inquisitiveness—this in a country where just a few years ago red peppers were considered to be dubious vegetables. In this article, the entrepreneurship of a family that has stood behind much of this development—the ‘Wong’ family from Hong Kong—is analyzed. Criticizing the common emphasis on ethnicity and drawing instead upon a concept of ‘mixed embeddedness,’ the following aspects of the Wong family’s entrepreneurship are examined: niche expansion, cooperation strategies, management in a spatial context, concept development, clientele, personnel, and market positioning. To the degree that ethnicity is included, the suggestion is to study whether and how ethnicity, together with the other aspects mentioned, is relevant in the making of profit and control.