Gastronomy Summer Courses

Registration for summer term classes begins on Thursday, February 23. Take a look at the offerings from the Gastronomy department.

Summer Term 1 Gastronomy Classes

MET ML 641 Anthropology of Food – with Dr. Karen Metheny

Summer 1 (May 24-June 28), Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30 to 9 PM

What can food tell us about human culture and social orfood-historyganization? Food offers us many opportunities to explore the ways in which humans go about their daily lives from breaking bread at the family table to haggling over the price of meat at the market to worrying about having enough to eat. Food can also tell us about larger social organizations and global interconnections through products like Spam that are traded around the globe and the ways in which a fruit like the tomato transformed the culinary culture of European nations. In this course we consider how the anthropology of food has developed as a subfield of cultural anthropology. We also look at the various methodologies and theoretical frameworks used by anthropologists

MET ML 673 Food and Film – with Dr. Potter Palmerh_julia_child_creative_commons_t670

Summer 1 (May 23-June 29), Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 to 9 PM

We can all take pleasure in eating good food, but what about watching other people eat or cook food? This course surveys the history of food in film. It pays particular attention to how food and foodways are depicted as expressions of culture, politics, and group or personal identity. We will watch a significant number of films, both fiction and non-fiction, classic and modern. A good portion of class time will also be given to discussing the readings in combination with hands-on, in-depth analysis of the films themselves. 4 cr. Tuition: $3320

MET ML 650 – The Foundation of Beer and Spirits – with Sandy Block

Summer 1 (May 25-June 29), Thursdays, 5:30 to 9 PM

Explores tRediscovery #: 00887
Job A1 08-131 Transparencies-1he great variety of beer styles and spirit categories currently available and the role each plays in our culture. Surveys significant developments in the historical evolution, production, distribution, consumption, and cultural usage of these alcohol

beverages in the United States. Includes tastings of beer and spirits to demonstrate examples of the most important categories and classifications. 2 cr. Tuition: $1660; lab fee: $200; total charge: $1860

MET ML 651 Fundamentals of Wine – with William Nesto

Summer 1 (Ten week course: June 5-August 7), Mondays, 6 to 9 PM

Suitable for students without previous knowledge of wine, this introductory survey explores the world of wine through lectures, tastings, and assigned readings. By the end of the course, students will be able to exhibit fundamental knowledge of the principal categories of wine, including major grape varieties, wine styles, and regions; correctly taste and classify wine attributes; understand general principles of food and wine pairing; and comprehend the process of grape growing and winemaking. 2 cr. Tuition: $1660; lab fee: $200; total charge: $1860 

MET ML 699 Laboratory in the Culinary Arts: Baking – with Janine Sciarappa

Summer 1 (May 23 – June 28), Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 5:30 to 9:30 PM

Exposes students to a craft-based understanding of the culinary arts from which to better understand how food and cuisine fit into the liberal arts and other disciplines and cultures. Integrates personal experience and theory through discipline by training students in classic and modern techniques and theories of food production, through pastry and baking methods and working efficiently, effectively, and safely. Also introduces students to baking techniques from various cultures and cuisines from around the world. 4 cr. Tuition: $3320; lab fee: $1500; total charge: $4820


Summer Term 2 Gastronomy Classes

MET ML 698 Laboratory in the Culinary Arts: Cooking – with Christine Merlo

Summer 2 (July 5 – August 9), Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 5:30 to 9:30 PM

Exposes students to a craft-based understanding of the culinary arts from which to better understand how food and cuisine fit into the liberal arts and other disciplines and cultures. Integrates personal experience and theory through discipline by training students in classic and modern techniques and theories of food production, through cooking and working efficiently, effectively, and safely. Also introduces students to foods of various cultures and cuisines from around the world. Students are expected to provide their own chef’s coat and knives. 4 cr. Tuition: $3320; lab fee: $1500; total charge: $4820


MET ML 704 Special Topic: Survey of Italian Wine – With Bill Nesto

Summer 2 (July 6 – August 10), Thursdays, 5:30 to 9 PM


Topic for summer 2017: Survey of Italian Wine. Provides students with a thorough knowledge of Italian wine. By the end of the course, students will know the history, cultural context, and styles of wine made throughout Italy and will understand issues within the Italian wine industry and the market performance of Italian wines in Italy and in other countries. Regular class tastings illustrate examples of wine types. 2 cr. Tuition: $1660; lab fee: $200; total charge: $1860

MET ML 719 Food Values: Local to Global Food Policy, Practice, and Performance – with Ellen Messer

Summer 2 (July 3-August 9), Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30 – 9 pm

Reviews various competing and sometimes conflicting frameworks for assessing what are “good” foods. Examines what global, national, state, and local food policies can do to promote the production and consumption of these foods. Teaches how to conceptualize, measure, and assess varying ecological, economic, nutritional, health, cultural, political, and justice claims. Analyzes pathways connecting production and consumption of particular foodstuffs in the U.S. and the world. Emphasizes comparative food systems and food value chains, and the respective institutional roles of science and technology, policy, and advocacy in shaping food supply and demand. 4 cr. Tuition: $3320


MET ML UA 510 Special Topics in Urban Affairs – with Walter Carroll

Summer 2 (July 6 – August 10), Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 to 9:30 pm

Topic for summer 2017: Feeding the City: Urban Food. Examines historical and contemporary issues involved in providing food to cities and metropolitan areas. Tracing the routes that food takes into the city and the major sources of food, the course looks closely at the accessibility of food, especially in poorer urban neighborhoods. Among topics covered are obesogenic neighborhoods, food deserts, gentrification and foodie culture, public school food and nutrition, attempts to minimize food waste, and immigrants and ethnic foods in the city. The course also considers recent attempts at food production in cities, including urban agriculture, vertical farming, and craft production of food products. After closely looking at the history and current status of food programs, the course concludes with a consideration of urban food policies. 4 cr. Tuition: $2640

Course Spotlight: Cultural Entrepreneurship

This post is the first in a series highlighting the ways students utilize Boston University’s many resources to cater the Gastronomy program to their own interests and needs.

by Carlos Olaechea

I’m sure many if not all Gastronomy students have run into a situation in which you are discussing your degree program with family, friends, or relatives and someone brings up this question: “What are you going to do with that degree?”  Sure, there are many opportunities to find careers with employers in both the public and private sectors, but a good number of us also have ideas to start our own businesses or projects.  Throughout our time as students, we receive a solid foundation in the theoretical aspects of food studies, and some of us supplement the core curriculum with courses in food writing, business, marketing, and culinary arts.  Nevertheless, sometimes we need some extra insight into how to take our post-graduation plans from a concept to a viable venture.  It was this need that led me to enroll in the Cultural Entrepreneurship class in the Arts Administration Department.

Continue reading “Course Spotlight: Cultural Entrepreneurship”

Decoding Alternative Food Communities

by Ariel Knoebel

I stared down at the entangled green tendrils in the dirt, thinking to myself “What is tatsoi, anyway?”

I was embarrassed to ask. Everyone else seemed to know exactly what they were doing as they crouched between the rows of bushy greens, chatting while weeding with expert hands until perfectly straight rows emerged down the field. Eventually, I got over my first-day-of school jitters and spoke up, swallowing my pride for the sake of the soon-to-be-uprooted plants in my hands. From there, I learned not only about the small oval shaped leaves I was weeding around, but all about the farm crew members, where they came from, and what drew them to the hot, dusty, hard work of growing food for the community.

Continue reading “Decoding Alternative Food Communities”

Sustaining Stillman’s: Turning a Profit at the Boston Public Market

By Kendall Vanderslice

Outside the Harvard Square Sunday Market, rain drizzles on a row of vendors as they advertise their assortments of produce, cheese, and baked goods to passersby. In a small, unassuming stall in the middle of the market, Rebecca Stillman sells a variety of meats on behalf of her daughter Kate, owner of Stillman’s Quality Meats.

Kate’s father started Stillman’s Farm over 30 years ago. Eager to find her own niche in the family business, Kate initiated Stillman’s Quality Meats on her father’s land in 2005, selling at markets all over the greater Boston area. Through the direct marketing made possible by the Massachusetts’ Farmer’s Market Association, small family farming has maintained a sustainable income for Massachusetts farmers. The ability to build relationships with customers has allowed the Stillmans to ensure their customers that they exercise the highest standards of care out of respect for nature rather than to appease third-party certifiers.

While seasonal farmer’s markets have given Kate the opportunity to start and grow her business by selling “conscientiously raised, grass fed, pasture raised meat and poultry,” it is her new stall at the year-round Boston Public Market that will give her company the space to turn a profit. Rebecca eagerly tells of the new value-added products available for sale there. From beef kebabs and peach-stuffed pork chops to house-cured charcuterie, the spread is sure to entice the crowd.

In an attempt to find new ways to sustain the business of farming in a post-agrarian culture, small farmers are turning to value-added products to boost profits. A produce farmer might, for instance, be able to sell quarts of fresh concord grapes for $5 a basket. At the end of the day, any leftover grapes will likely not make it through another market. With the addition of just a touch of sugar and half an hour over the stove, however, the farmer can sell those otherwise unusable grapes for $10 a jar in the form of jelly. By transforming their original products into something new and more valuable, farmers are finding ways to widen the scope of their sales. Creating a forum to introduce value-added products revamps the playing field for local small farmers.

Kate Stillman has eagerly joined in the game, but in the end, it is her customers who truly win.

“[Kate] survives, but it’s tough. She provides for her family,” says Rebecca . But when asked if customers are increasingly happy, Rebecca smiles demurely and nods. “Absolutely. Oh, absolutely.”

Sampling Scientific Cooking with Kenji Lopez-Alt at Harvest in Cambridge

By Jerrelle Guy

A private luncheon was held at the historic Harvest restaurant in Harvard square on Monday, October 26th, and a few IMG_0228people from the Gastronomy program attended. You all remember Chef Kenji Lopez-Alt from his column in Serious Eats, right? Well, Chef Kenji Lopez-Alt has taken his M.I.T. degree and brought that proficiency into his kitchen. He’s managed to deconstruct many of the common cooking approaches taken toward some of our favorite recipes (All-American Meatloaf, Classic Baked Ziti, Big, Fat Juicy Grilled Burgers, and more) and boil them down to a simple scientific method. He even went one step further and made his science-based techniques accessible to the home cook.

The luncheon was a tiny taste of what scientific cooking could offer. Chef Kenji Lopez-Alt partnered with Harvest’s Executive Chef Kinnet to prepare a simple yet elegant menu: Slow-Roasted Pumpkin Soup, Spatchcock Roast Chicken with Scalloped Potatoes, Broccoli Rabe and Delicata Squash, and one can’t forget the array of mini desserts that included a life-altering Earl Grey and Caramel Cream Puff!

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Along the top of a wide-stretched table dressed in white linen rested his thick new cookbooks, waiting to be doled out to the lucky guests in attendance. Within their pages the chef offers extensive explanations and pictures, and for those who could attend the luncheon, living proof why we as cooks should reconsider the way we think about cooking. The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking through Science is as monumental in size as an encyclopedia, and it behaves like one as well. It’s a necessary resource that should take a place on all of our cookbook shelves.

Harvest is celebrating its 40th anniversary all November-long with a special tasting menu, and inviting and honoring chefs from the Boston area who are shaking up the contemporary culinary scene. You can find more information on future events here.