by Joyce Liao
My friends from California had warned me that moving to the East Coast in the middle of winter was a terrible idea. I, of course, booked a one-way ticket to Boston the very next day. I smartly packed my entire life into three suitcases, bidding farewell to my summer dresses and heeled pumps that would never last a day in the treacherous snow.
Despite the dreary rain that welcomed my arrival, I successfully survived my first day in Boston. Fortunately, the rain clouds cleared by the following afternoon just in time for the Gastronomy program new student orientation. After a short 20-minute walk battling the gusty winds, I was happy to step into the warm, cozy building. For the first portion of orientation, Rachel Black, assistant professor and academic coordinator of the Gastronomy program, provided an overview of the graduate program, in addition to some very helpful tips to prepare us for our first day of class. We also met several recent graduates, as well as current students, who shared with us their invaluable experiences in the program. Following the info session, we had a chance to introduce our fellow peers and share some of our favorite foods. From hearty soups to baked brie with garlic and cognac, this was the perfect segue into our dinner party.
We divided into four groups and made our way into the laboratory kitchen to get started on dinner preparation. With help from graduates of the Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts, we made a full menu set by Alex Galimberti that included a gorgeous salad using watermelon and black turnips, a creamy New England clam chowder, and buttery flaky tarts filled with fresh ingredients including goat cheese, mushrooms, kale and butternut squash. Over a family style dinner, we toasted to new friends and a new year filled with exciting and tasty adventures. As the evening came to an end, I couldn’t be more certain that this was only the beginning to all of the inspiring and amazing things to come. Our meal ended with a warm apple crisp, just in time for us to brave the cold night ahead.
Joyce Liao is a Gastronomy student. Keep up with her on her blog: Hello, Good Bite.