Introducing Fall 2012 Graduate Assistants

Emily Contois will focus on research projects this semester. Emily was born in Australia and grew up in Big Sky Country in Billings, Montana. She spent a bit over a decade training in classical ballet before turning her attention to the study of food and culture. Emily studied Letters and Nutrition Science at the University of Oklahoma, writing her honors thesis on the rhetoric of the dieting industry. She then received her MPH in public health nutrition from UC Berkeley, where she also taught undergraduate nutrition courses, finding her true passion in teaching. Professionally, she’s been working in the field of employee wellness since 2008 and helped to launch Healthy Workforce at Kaiser Permanente in 2010.

Emily began the Gastronomy program in fall 2011 and will graduate in May 2013. Her research focuses on food and food-related phenomena in popular culture. She also explores the connections between food studies, nutrition, and public health. She has continued researching the dieting industry and presented the paper, “Keeping Americans Fat and Coming Back for More: A Rhetoric Analysis of Diet Literature” at the 2012 Association for the Study of Food and Society conference. Emily blogs about her research at and tweets @EmilyContois. It would make her deliriously happy if you would follow her. After completing her MLA in Gastronomy, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in American Studies and aspires to be a professor.

In the few spare moments when she’s not working for Kaiser, studying, writing, or working on Ph.D. applications, Emily loves going to the movies with her husband, visiting all of the amazing museums in Boston, and reading for pleasure.

Lucia Austria is the fall 2012 editor for the Gastronomy blog. She is a native Jersey girl from Jersey City, New Jersey. She moved up to Boston to earn her BS in Business Administration at Boston College in Chestunut Hill, MA. There, she spent much time involved in Asian-American student groups learning about issues, culture, and of course, cuisine. She then attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Cambridge, MA. After cooking around Boston for a few years, Lucia found her way to Taza Chocolate located in Somerville, MA working as a Chocolate Maker. She is now the production team’s Senior Shift Leader where she is responsible for factory training and purchasing. She is also a member of the test kitchen and sensory panel teams at Taza. Needless to say, Lucia eats chocolate every day.

Lucia has been a part-time student in the Gastronomy program at BU since spring 2011. She has research interests in ethnic foodways in the United States, as well as skill acquisition in restaurant and food manufacturing industries. Lucia presented her paper entitled “Teaching Taste: A look into how culinary school students learn food” at the 2012 Association for the Study of Food and Society conference. She is also featured in the Somerville community cookbook, Nibbleshowcasing her recipe for chocolate-filled beignets and coffee crème anglaise. After graduation, Lucia hopes to pursue further research on Filipino-American foodways.

Lucia enjoys biking, dancing, gardening, collecting old cookbooks and going through cooking phases. Her latest obsession is pickling. Jerky is next.

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