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 Indian 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 an 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. 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.