Over the next few weeks, as the admissions office wraps up their work, we will introduce the new students who are joining the Boston University Gastronomy Program this coming fall. Each new student is asked to submit a picture of themselves, a short bio, and what they love most about food. Keep reading to see the newest crop of Gastronomy grads.
Kat Wood: Growing up, I was an unadventurous eater. I scoffed at foods brightly colored or leafy. In my early twenties I started paying attention to my health, and the food around me. Soon after I took an Anthropology of Food class during my under grad at St. Cloud State University and my eyes were opened to the academic study of food. Since my food awakening I have been visiting markets around the world, farming organically, learning to cook, managing a from scratch kitchen and volunteering for the Home Plus Study at the University of Minnesota. I am excited to be attending Boston University’s Gastronomy program because I want to study food through a cultural lens, utilizing the historical, political, geographic and economic factors that influence human consumption. I also cannot wait to taste, cook and explore food with my fellow classmates and faculty. When I am not eating or cooking, I love going to shows, hiking and I’m always planning my next trip!
Shane Matlock: Shane comes to the Gastronomy program in a very unorthodox manner. He is currently fulfilling his final 6 months as an Active Duty US Army Captain. Originally from Boise, ID, Shane studied Media Communications at college in San Diego, CA and joined the military as an officer shortly after 9/11. After being stationed in Upstate, NY and Virginia (twice), including a one year trip to Afghanistan, Shane received his dream assignment: France! He spent three wonderful years in Lille, France (on the Belgian border), eating and drinking his way through Europe, not to mention having his two daughters born in the local hospital. While Shane has always had a passion for the local food scene, the culture of food and beverage in Europe hooked him for life.
Shane has spent his last two years in Southern MA (living near Providence, RI), preparing for the next chapter. After receiving his MBA in 2011, he committed to a career change that involved his love of food and the role it plays in our lives. Not having ANY experience in food on a professional level, he has yet to narrow down how his passion will translate into a career…but can’t wait to find out.
Kimi Ceridon: Originally from Colorado, Kimi’s love of the ocean lead her to make Massachusetts home for the last 9 years. She has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She spent nearly twenty years as corporate engineer, engineering consultant, sustainbility consultant, entrepreneur and manager. In 2009, she founded Kalepa Tech, a consultancy focusing on Design for Sustainability. You can read about her DfS philosophy in Green Design with Life Cycle in Mind.
While cooking and food are a passionate hobby, her sustainability consulting highlighted the important role food plays in personal sustainability. Food was and is the most tangible and accessible way for individuals to change their impact on the planet. This connection led Kimi to the BU program in Gastronomy.
She continues to pursue her own sustainability through food choices raising her own chickens, keeping two bee hives and organic gardening to supplement meat, fish, grain and vegetable CSA shares. With so much abundance, there is ample opportunity to fill a pantry through canning, preserving, curing, fermenting and brewing the local harvest . She is an active member of the Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA) and has taught workshops in lacto-fermentation for the Boston Local Food Festival.
Although engineering and gastronomy may not seem like an obvious pairing, Kimi looks forward to applying her engineering acuity to improving local food systems and increasing access to fresh, healthy and local food. Follow her adventures at No Return Ticket.
Rose Saltalamacchia: I grew up in northern New Jersey in a big Italian-Irish family, with a father who worked for decades in the restaurant business. Because of this combination of experiences, I understood from an early age that meals did not just appear in front of me: someone, whether it was my father, my aunt, or one of the cooks in the restaurant, had worked hard to create it. When I studied environmental studies as an undergrad in California, I became even more interested in food production and its environmental and social impacts. I interned on a local organic farm, and after graduating and a year as a volunteer teacher abroad, I followed my interest in Italian culture and farming to Italy, where I worked as a W.W.O.O.F volunteer for 4 months.
My interests in food have evolved to include the intersections of food production, food policy, culture, and food justice, and I look forward to exploring these interests, learning from my classmates, and deepening my knowledge though the Gastronomy program!
Sheere Ng: Sheere Ng has learnt many things about herself, her family and her city — Singapore — through her meals. What better way to spend the final two years of her twenties than reading, talking and obsessing about food? She is drawn to Boston University’s Gastronomy program because it discusses food at the arts, anthropological, and political level. This will make a regular meal of chilli crab or chicken rice much more charismatic and intriguing.
After graduating from journalism school, Sheere worked as an assistant editor at Makansutra, a Singapore-based company that produces Asian street food guides. Before she left the company, she worked on its inaugural World Street Food Congress, helping to source ingredients for over 30 stalls that were specially flown into Singapore to bring attention to the challenges of the future of street food across the globe.
When she completes her master’s degree, Sheere will return home, where food still very much centres on consumption, to spread the many other meanings of food.
Come back soon to see the rest of our freshly picked Gastronomy graduate students!