Fall 2016 Pépin Lecture Series in Food Studies and Gastronomy

The following programs are part of the Pépin Lecture Series in Food Studies and Gastronomy and are free and open to the public. To register, please call 617-353-9852 or visit www.bu.edu/foodandwine.

In the Matter of Food: Jewish Peddling in the New World, with Hasia Diner

Monday, September 26, 6:00 p.m. | Meets at 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 224.

The age of the great Jewish migration saw millions of European, Ottoman, and North African Jews leave their old homes to make new ones in new lands. Scores of men took their first steps in unfamiliar places as peddlers, selling house-to-house in non-Jewish communities. As they slept in hasia-dinertalkthese new customers’ homes, it was largely through food that they negotiated their Jewish commitments and engagements with those unfamiliar with their culture. Learn more in this lecture from Hasia Diner, who is a New York University professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies and history; Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History; and director of the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History.

Photo Credit:  Peddler with cart, c. 1896. Photograph by Elizabeth Austen. Library of Congress.


The French Chef in America: Julia Child, with Alex Prud’homme

Sunday, October 16, 11:00 am. | Meets at 808 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 117.

french-chef-with-border-againThe enchanting story of Julia Child’s years as TV personality and beloved cookbook author–a sequel in spirit to My Life in France–by her great-nephew.  Julia Child is synonymous with French cooking, but her legacy runs much deeper. Now, her great-nephew and My Life in France coauthor vividly recounts the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. He shows us Child in the aftermath of the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, suddenly finding herself America’s first lady of French food and under considerable pressure to embrace her new mantle. We see her dealing with difficult colleagues and the challenges of fame, alex-prudhommeultimately using her newfound celebrity to create what would become a totally new type of food television. Every bit as entertaining, inspiring, and delectable as My Life in France, The French Chef in America uncovers Julia Child beyond her “French chef” persona and reveals her second act to have been as groundbreaking and adventurous as her first.

Photo Credit: Prud’homme, A. 2016, The French Chef in America, Alfred A. Knopf & Pantheon, New York.  

Changing Foodways in Maputo Mozambique, with Lilly Havstad

Tuesday, October 18, 6:00 p.m. | Meets at 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 313.

havstad-lecturePhoto Credit: FUNGAI TICHAWANGANA, http://www.bu.edu/research/articles/mozambique/

Join Lilly Havstad, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Boston University, for stories and reflections based on her doctoral research into changing foodways and the emergence of an African middle class in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique. She will discuss how changing urban foodways have been enmeshed and emergent in the process of urbanization over time, how foodways center the lives of women as primary cooks and caretakers in Mozambican society, and how the lens of food reveals the cultural and social dynamics of urban class formation.


The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey, with Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt and introduction by Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Tuesday, November 15, 6:00 p.m. | Meets at 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 224.

Photo Credit: www.gazakitchen.com

Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt will describe the process by which they developed and conducted field research for their innovative ethnographic cookbook, The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey. Focusing on the little-known but distinctive cuisine of Palestine’s Gaza region, their book showcases over 140 never-before transcribed recipes of home cooks (mainly women), as well as the vital narratives of Gazan farmers, merchants, and food security experts. This interdisciplinary project—embraced by culinary figures such as Anthony Bourdain, Claudia Roden, and Yotam Ottolenghi—addresses food sovereignty and sustainability issues facing the Palestinian people.




More new Gastronomy Program students for fall

It is“back to school” season at Boston University. Approximately 25 new students will be enrolling as new candidates for the MLA in Gastronomy or the Food Studies Graduate Certificate. Here is an introduction to four  more students who will join us this fall.

Sharddha Kommineni was born and raised in Dubai and comes from a proud South IndianKommineni family, where everyone loves their jar of pickles. She completed her undergrad in Computer Science Engineering, and has now realized it’s time she made her dreams come true and so, has applied for Masters in Gastronomy. Her love for cooking started as a child when she first smelled the aromas in her grandmother’s house back in India.  Although, coming from a South Indian family full of Engineers, she was compelled into studying Engineering. She can bake all day if given the chance, and loves cooking traditional South Indian food all whilst eating her mom’s dosas as often as she can.

Sanaya Kondaskar grew up in Mumbai, a bustling metropolitan city in India, where food is Kondaskaran astonishing hodgepodge of diverse spices and aromas and where street delicacies are an integral part of the daily routine. As a child, cooking was Sanaya’s favorite hobby, her suave grandmother the mentor and the kitchen her laboratory. After moving to the US in 2009, Sanaya graduated with a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University. Working as a certified occupation therapist since then, Sanaya co-authored a handwriting book called ‘Planet L’ that serves to help children with learning disabilities. In 2015, Sanaya was selected as an Open Style Lab Fellow at MIT, where she helped design adaptive clothing for people with physical disabilities.

Sanaya is extremely interested in understanding the relationship between tradition, culture and cuisine in different parts of the world. Along with her husband, who is a Tufts and MIT-trained molecular biologist, Sanaya is interested in investigating the impact of diet on our gut microbiome and it’s effects on health and disease. Always a fan of the community garden, Sanaya also wants to use her experiences in gastronomy at BU to seek entrepreneurial opportunities in holistic food concepts.

Catherine Santrock was born and raised in the Detroit area.Santrock She graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit with her BA in Classics and History, where she initially began to cultivate an interest in various cultures and the roles that food and drink play in them. Towards the end of her undergraduate career Catherine was diagnosed with Celiac disease and had to drastically overhaul her diet. During this time she began to take a greater interest in the various aspects of food, from its preparation to its cultural significance. Researching various ways to create a varied diet that was not only healthy, but that also did not feel inadequate, exposed Catherine to an entirely new approach to food.

Catherine hopes to utilize her education in Gastronomy to one day break down the various stigmas that surround not only gluten-free diets, but all diets that people undertake for health reasons. It is her firm belief that food required to be free from gluten, or dairy, or whatever else necessary, should still be just as delicious.

New Students for the new school year

It’s almost “back to school” season again. Approximately 25 new students will be enrolling as new candidates for the MLA in Gastronomy or the Food Studies Graduate Certificate. Here is an introduction to four  more students who will join us this fall.

Sam Dolph grew up in the Boston area and received her BA in literature from Benningtonsam dolph College in Vermont. After becoming inspired by a course she took as an undergrad called “Women Writing About Nature,” Sam began farming on Martha’s Vineyard to develop her own connection to the land. Sam continued farming for four summers and was amazed watching little seedlings grow into bloom and then land on her dinner plate. Farming helped cultivate Sam’s passion for not only growing, cooking up, and eating delicious food, but also using that food as a catalyst to build sustainable relationships and communities.

After graduating, Sam spent time working in the food industry/food startup world in Boston to learn about the different ways food functions and is valued by consumers. Now, Sam understands food to be at the core of the social and environmental injustice that we experience as a society both locally and globally and is motivated by the intersections of nutrition, public health, and social justice.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Giselle Kennedy Lord grew up devouring her mother’s Lebanese stuffed Giselle Kennedy Lordgrape leaves on Christmas, Cuban black beans after school with her best friend, and Baja-style fish tacos at the Redondo Beach pier all summer long. While earning her degree in Film and Latin American Studies at the University of San Francisco, she became deeply interested and involved in the farm-to-table movement and the depth and breadth of food culture she discovered in the city and while traveling in Latin America and throughout the world. Giselle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2011 and formalized her video production business to specialize in food culture and agriculture. After years of capturing food stories, she stepped out from behind the lens and launched Quincho, a series of culturally inspired pop-up dinners in Hood River, Oregon, where she lives. Giselle has and continues to travel extensively and intentionally, perpetually motivated by the certain discovery of new food cultures, inherited techniques, and beautiful meals. Joining the Gastronomy program at BU is a dream realized for Giselle and she is truly looking forward to connecting with fellow food enthusiasts, expanding her knowledge and skill set, and discovering new ways to grow and define her business. Also, great dinner parties.

Christine Rogers, from Atherton, California, just graduated from Stanford where she Christine Rogersearned a BA in Classics (Ancient History). She has been passionate about food and cooking since she was a little girl. She was always in the kitchen baking with her best friend or making special dinners for her family. As Christine grew up, her love of food remained a driving force in her life. When she decided to take a gap year after high school, Christine decided to pursue her love of food by attending several cooking schools in Europe, studying baking/pastry in Paris, interning at a winery to learn how wine was made, and interning at a local restaurant. In college, she interned for a local chef, helping her to test recipes, republish her cookbook, teach cooking classes, and fundraise for an online cooking TV show. Christine hopes to become a food writer, working for a food/food and wine magazine and writing her own cookbooks one day.

Paweethida Tanjasiri was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand where the food scene isPaweethida Tanjasiri very vibrant and lively. She graduated with a bachelors degree in Interior Architecture and worked as an interior designer for a little while. After that she decided to step into the magazine industry as a graphic designer and food photographer, where she had a chance to meet a lot of people in food and media industry. From that point, it inspired her a lot and she started to work as a freelance food stylist. She also interned at “The Jewels of New York” (a multidisciplinary studio based in Manhattan which is focused on food services) as a food stylist assistant in order to gain more knowledge and practical techniques for food styling.

After returning to Bangkok, she started to be a full-time food stylist and also started her own food business called “Meat & Bones” which takes inspiration  from American BBQ culture. After she had been working in a food industry for years, both in food media and also running a restaurant, she decided to pursue her master degree in BU’s Gastronomy program to dig deeper in various aspects of food which will support her passion and career about food in the future.

More new students for the new academic year

It’s almost “back to school” season again. Approximately 25 new students will be enrolling as new candidates for the MLA in Gastronomy or the Food Studies Graduate Certificate. Here is an introduction to five more students who will join us this fall.

Kea’nia Gulley is a novice food geek baked in Hartford, CT and cooled in the south. Kea'nia GulleyShe spent most summers running around with her cousin and taking over her grandma’s kitchen. Kea’nia grew a new found love for food while at Howard University as a Film Production major. While she always admired the beauty of food, she began to understand the agency food has to affect mental and physical health.

After graduation, Kea’nia developed youth programming for organizations in New York. She has led food therapy initiatives for young girls in the juvenile justice system to promote behavioral management and community reengagement. This experience highlighted that food not only touched people on an individual level but also has potential to dictate communal connections. These girls also taught her that she needed to put her money where her mouth was and follow her dreams. There were too many nights spent at home sifting through recipes and turning her kitchen into an altar of sorts.

Stepping out on faith brought her to Plated’s front door where she influenced customer success and reported on culinary trends with customers. Plated also opened the door to start working on sets as an assistant food and prop stylist where she continues to learn the craft and her own aesthetic. She has recently created a blog dedicated to exploring how women of color connect to food. Keania is eager for the Gastronomy program to hone her ability to share the cultural stories behind foodways. She also seeks to arm disadvantaged communities with the tools to develop sustainable food systems which reflect the cultural underpinnings of their environments.


Karl (KG) Koch originally hails from South Bend, Indiana, and attended Xavier University Karl Kochin Cincinnati, Ohio, graduating with a B.A. from the Philosophy, Politics, & the Public program. During his time in Cincinnati, KG helped to tend over 50 community gardens across the city with the Civic Garden Center, and, in doing so, developed his interest in the connection between agriculture and cuisine.

KG has spent the last year teaching at a small elementary school in Tucson, Arizona, as a school garden instructor with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. While vegetable gardening in the Sonoran Desert has proven a challenge, he has learned to value the connection between land and food and looks forward to bringing that experience to the Food Policy & Systems track at BU. He is excited for the move out east, is bracing himself for the stark change in climate, and hoping to find a small garden patch in time for spring.


Samantha McNulty was born and raised in Florham Park, New Jersey with a family that Samantha McNultyappreciated a good meal and loved hosting friends and family. As a senior in high school she appeared on FOX’s MasterChef as a top 100 contestant, baking a quadruple layer carrot cake for Gordon Ramsey, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot. Having always been told to own her own business by her dad, she graduated Villanova University this past May majoring in Management and Entrepreneurship in Villanova’s School of Business. Throughout her four years there she worked with Dining Services and the Office of Health Promotion to better the options for students and to promote healthy eating on campus. She also worked as a hostess at a farm to table restaurant her senior year and spent summers working at Martha Stewart Omnimedia as the Digital Recipe Intern, Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit as nutrition intern, Ninety Acres farm-to-table restaurant as a cooking school assistant, and at the popular NJ shore bakery the Scone Pony as a bakery assistant. Seeking to combine her love of food and her business degree, Samantha is looking forward to attending BU to further her goal of eventually owning her own food business- whatever that may be.


Madeline LongMadeline Long, from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is a recent graduate of College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine where she earned a BA in Human Ecology. Over the past few years Madeline has spent time working in various local restaurants as well as on farms in The White Mountains and Tuscany, focusing on the care of livestock. With a passion and love for coastal New England culture and cuisine, Madeline’s interest in Gastronomy ultimately stems from observing her father, a chef, work and teach in kitchens throughout her childhood. She hopes to one day open a bar and restaurant.


Samantha VitalaSamantha Vitale has her BA in Fitness, Exercise and Nutrition from the State University of New York at Potsdam. She is from Iowa and has travelled to many places to find her path to success. Samantha is interested in Gastronomy because she has always loved food and nutrition and wanted to learn more about it so that she can pass it on to others. Samantha wants to blend her degrees so that she can work for the USDA and educate communities about living a healthy and wholesome lifestyle through food and fitness.

More New Students for Fall 2016

It’s almost “back to school” season again. Approximately 25 new students will be enrolling as new candidates for the MLA in Gastronomy or the Food Studies Graduate Certificate. Here is an introduction to six students who will join us this fall.

Giovanna Clott lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts with her husband and two teenage Giovanna Clottdaughters. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Connecticut. Giovanna went on to earn her Certified Public Accounting certificate in the state of Connecticut. She worked for nearly 10 years in her field of study and then decided to stay at home full-time to raise her daughters. Out of necessity of preparing family meals, she re-discovered her passion for food and culinary related topics. Researching and testing recipes, especially with regard to baking, became her creative outlet. Giovanna is fascinated by food culture and history, which she attributes to her upbringing. Her family emigrated from Italy to Hartford, Connecticut, where Giovanna was born. Her childhood was spent observing and participating in her family’s cultural traditions, from preserving the garden’s bounty, to wine and cheese making, and preparing authentic meals. Most recently, Giovanna worked part-time at Sur La Table in both a retail-sales role and as a teacher’s assistant in Sur La Table’s culinary program. From this experience, Giovanna decided she wanted to learn more. Through research, she discovered Boston University’s Graduate Program in Food Studies and Gastronomy. Giovanna is confident this program will provide her with the knowledge she seeks to find her best fit for a second career.

M EnglesMorrisa Engles was born in Dallas, TX where she first discovered her love of food.  From there, she lived in Louisville home of the Kentucky Derby, Cincinnati, OH where she received her BBA in Accounting and a Culinary Arts degree, and South Korea where she taught ESL.

During these life experiences Morrisa’s love of food and culture blossomed leading her towards the decision to enroll in the Gastronomy program at Boston University.  Morrisa plans to create educational content that uses food to explore cultural identity.  In addition, she is interested in writing recipe books and owning a restaurant with flavors from around the world!


Ashlyn Frassinelli was born and raised in the quiet suburbs of Philadelphia, not too far Ashlyn Frassinelifrom Amish country. She was raised on her mother’s inventive German-American cooking, which consisted of plenty of roasted meat, fluffy German pancakes, curly spaetzles, and buttery pound cake.

She attended the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she obtained her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication. She spent those four years cooking out of box-sized dorm kitchens and vainly attempting to spice up packages of Top Ramen. She had the opportunity to work with food in several different capacities while in D.C., from interning for José Andrés’ nonprofit organization to writing for a local food and restaurant news blog to serving pastries and coffee at a neighborhood bakery. At BU she intends to hone her writing skills in hopes of becoming America’s next great food writer.

Ashlyn has taken a solemn vow that she will try any food at least once – something she may yet live to regret. She is a proponent of nose-to-tail cooking and occasionally chronicles her adventures in the kitchen on her blog, Offally Sweet.

Jimena Garnier was born and raised in the tropical country of Jimena GarnierCosta Rica. From an early age, the beautiful and colorful exotic fruits and vegetables found locally invigorated her fascination with food. She has worked with her father, an amateur chef and farmer, who has spent years cultivating the foods of the indigenous tribes from Costa Rica, such as native purple corn, honey and making a variety of hot sauces using an assortment of chillies that he grows on the farm.

While getting her BFA in Fine Arts from SVA in New York, Jimena used fruits and vibrant foods as her medium in sculptures. After graduating and returning to Costa Rica, she began searching for jobs in the food styling industry. However, the lack of opportunities in the area only elevated her passion for making more beautiful and relevant food. The rapid growing restaurant business in Costa Rica desperately needs a culinary consulting and styling agency. After graduating from BU’s Master in Gastronomy with a focus in Communication, Jimena hopes to return once again to her native country as an expert in making perfect donuts and to open a Culinary Consulting agency.

Ritika Naresh Jagasia was born and raised in a multiethnic city of Bombay, India. She Ritika Naresh Jagasiagraduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and specialized in Advertisement. While studying, she interned with food and travel networks like NDTV GoodTimes and Living foodz. After Graduating, she continued working in the food industry which involved managing a culinary studio. She was mentored by India’s finest Pastry Chef and further went on to develop recipes for her second cook book of healthy desserts. She developed cooking skills and technique on the job and her hobbies include cooking regional Indian recipes with a modern twist. If ever given an opportunity to study again, she knew she would master in food. This propelled her to join Gastronomy Program. She looks forward to studying Food Policy and Systems and make a difference by working for the United Nations. The food nerd is also afraid she’ll die of dumpling overdose one day!

Lyrsa María Torres-Vélez, was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She started cooking at the tender age of 6 with the assistance of her dad and grandmother. She has an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from Universidad del Este Carolina’s Campus, and recently obtained her BA in Anthropology with focus in Archaeology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She believes that studying gastronomy, will not only allow her to express her emotions, but will also enable her to of study the daily life of our ancestors using cookbooks, and their diet as reference. She was part of the symposium: Current Multidisciplinary Research Approaches in Historical Archaeology,Lyrsa Torres 2 in which she presented the paper: Puerto Rico’s Cookbooks: Recipes of a History, at this year’s Society for Historical Archaeology Conference in Washington, DC. She was very interested in the BU program since it combines both of her passions: Food and Archaeology. In her future plans she wants to obtain a PhD in Historical Archaeology focusing her investigation on Cook books. This will help her trace changes in the diet of Puerto Ricans. At some point, she wants to return to the University of Puerto Rico, and teach. She loves traveling, which lets her study other cultures through their food.