More New Students for Spring 2018!



Sarah Critchely

Sarah CritchleyI’m from a small town on the Connecticut shoreline where I fostered a love for fried seafood and New Haven style apizza. At first, I started my adult life on a very literary path. After studying English at Skidmore College, I went to Brown University to get my MAT degree in Secondary English Education. I finished my first year of teaching and then decided to completely change directions. Figuring that my early twenties were as good a time as any to explore my options, I attended the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts to study pastry. I did a stint at a bakery before moving into the restaurant world, working as a savory cook at the now-defunct TW Food and then as a pastry cook at Harvest Restaurant. I have been working as a confectioner/chocolatier at Spindler Confections in Somerville for the past year where I love learning more about all the intricacies of sugar and cocoa crystals.  My favorite thing to cook (and eat) is soup and my favorite baking activity is making layered cakes. I love traveling, the beach during the off-season, Talking Heads, and knitting. Currently, I live in Cambridge with my husband, my cat, and too many cookbooks.

I’m looking forward to continue to make food the central part of my career while stepping out of the professional kitchen world a bit. I have been eyeing the Gastronomy program at BU for years and am so excited to finally be a part of the program! I’m hoping to learn more about food history and food policy and to forge a path onwards from there.

Caitlyn Wright

Caitlyn WrightI am passionate about the role food has in our communities and more specifically how we feed our communities. Through travel and research I have been able to spend time in several communities where food production is a conscious part of identity. I obtained my undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Studio Art at Hartwick College in the Catskills of New York. Living and doing field work in an agricultural community that was also experiencing deep poverty and serious public health challenges led me to focus my energy on exploring the intersection of food policy, food access, and sustainability in rural agriculture. I interned with the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship and collected data to support their grant programs for sustainable hops production. I was a 2015 Farm and Fire Fellow at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in mid-coast Maine where I split my time between making ceramic work and working on Dandelion Springs an organic farm.  I ended this fellowship with an understanding of what it means to produce organic food sustainably to feed a local community but also left with questions about how to supply food affordably to a population in a setting without access to large amounts of land.

From here I participated in a class focused on food culture and challenges to food access in central New York, The Harvest Dinner Project. I was an artist and student creating dinnerware in collaboration with a farm to table restaurant which culminated in a benefit dinner supporting a local soup kitchen. Most recently, I was a teaching Fellow at a residency center for agriculture, culinary arts, and fine art in upstate New York, Craigardan. Here I witnessed and collaborated in projects highlighting the pivotal place we are in surrounding agricultural policy and food culture. I am passionate about creating physical spaces that connect people to food and want to understand the framework for building a non-profit that supports food, nutrition, and culture, especially in marginalized populations.


Food Mapping: Growing Community at Brookline Grown

Gastronomy student Madison Trapkin shares her food mapping work from Anthropology of Food.

In the metropolitan sprawl that is the Greater Boston area, consumers have a wide variety of grocery stores to choose from. There are major chains like Stop & Shop and Trader Joe’s, or somewhere like Whole Foods if you have a bit more disposable income. For those who live in the vicinity of the Brookline neighborhood, there is also the option of shopping at Brookline Grown, a relatively small grocery store that is bringing fresh, local foods to their clientele. Brookline Grown is one example of the purveyors of local foods and food related products that have been cropping up across the United States that encourage customers (quite literally) to bring the farm to their tables.

In this mapping exercise, I consider Brookline Grown as an example of the larger food movement towards local and sustainable agriculture. I discuss the layout of the store and focus on four specific products, as well as what each indicates about foodways, identity, relationship, and current food trends. There are certain aspects of locally sourced foods and food products that cannot be attained from processed, generic, and otherwise large-scale farmed foods. I also examine the various ways in which buying local can strengthen community bonds and encourage positive relationships with growers and producers of local foods.

trapkin food map

In order to create this  map of Brookline Grown I visited their store. They are located near Coolidge Corner on Pleasant Street. The unassuming exterior of Brookline Grown gives way to the plethora of locally sourced delicacies within its walls. The various products that fill their shelves and baskets are all sourced within a 7-mile radius, which impressed me given their proximity to the city’s elements. Rather than provide an exact to-scale representation of the shop’s interior, I decided to focus on the sourcing of four specific products. I selected items from different food groups in order to provide diverse coverage of the store’s offerings: sweet potatoes, milk, greens, and sriracha (a type of hot sauce). I chose to illustrate one wall from the store and from that honed in on the products I had chosen, including a small map of Massachusetts with every chosen item. Each map of Massachusetts includes a red dot that indicates where the selected item was grown or produced. My goal was to indicate the proximity of production to Boston. Brookline Grown is a proponent of the farm to table movement, which has secured an important spot in this nation’s food history as a direct response to the explosion of commoditized processed foods that began in the 70s. Therefore, it was important for me to emphasize the locality of each item.

Upcoming Events

Gastronomy students!!! You may be interested in these upcoming events. Check ’em out!

Venture Capital Investment for Food

VC Investment

The top 25 U.S. food and beverage companies lost an equivalent of $18 billion in market share between 2009 and 2016.

Venture capitalists are shelling out billions hoping to transform agriculture and scale food ventures that reduce waste and use of synthetic chemicals, conserve resources, accelerate distribution, and improve population health. While venture investment in the food sector seems to be slowing, exits and capital raises continue to abound and gain massive recognition. We’re seeing companies like Justin’s Peanut Butter sell to industry giant Hormel for $286 Million, local tech businesses like ezCater raise upwards of $70 Million across multiple funding rounds to bring food to corporate office spaces, and industry leaders Campbell Soup, General Mills, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and others establishing VC funds to acquire entrepreneurial brands that meet Millennials’ demand for high-quality products.

The food movement is here, it’s not slowing down, and startups are launching locally and globally signaling a certain shift in how our planet eats.

Join Branchfood as we bring together food venture investors across the food and foodtech industry to discuss financing food businesses, opportunities for innovation in food, market trends, and how to launch and grow a successful food business. At this event you’ll get to connect with food industry mentors, advisors, investors, and more, and sample awesome food products too!

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:

Thursday, April 6, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (EDT)

50 Milk Street
Floor 20
Boston, MA 02109



The Future of Food and Nutrition Graduate Student Research Conference, hosted annually by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, provides a unique venue for graduate students to present original research related to food and nutrition. Historically, more than 200 attendees from over 30 different institutions have come together each year to hear students present research from diverse fields ranging from anthropology to nutritional epidemiology.

As a presenter or attendee, you will gain valuable professional experience presenting and/or discussing novel, multidisciplinary research. The conference also provides a great opportunity for networking with fellow students and future colleagues – the next generations of leaders in the field.

Registration for the 10th annual conference to be held on April 8th, 2017 is open now! Visit our registration page for more details. We hope to see you on April 8th.



The BU Gastronomy Students Association has a few upcoming events! On Thursday April 6th from 7-10pm they will be meeting at the BU Pub on campus to share a few drinks before the BU Pub closes for renovations. This will be the first event of 2017 and a chance to meet new members!

The second event will be starting the BU Gastronomy Students Association Test Kitchen. On Sunday May 7th members and prospective members will meet at 3pm and test out a recipe or two together.  Recipes are still being debated and open to suggestions! Some ideas are home-made gummy bears or spring asparagus tart, or maybe both. If there’s a recipe you’ve always wanted to try just let them know. Please contact us for specific location details.

Lastly, some of the members will be traveling to NYC on May 12th to attend the NYC Food Book Fair and eating at Ivan Ramen that Saturday. If anyone plans on also being in New York, or interested in traveling to NY with the BU Gastronomy Student Association for the event or dinner, please reach out to

Link to learn more about the Food Book Fair:

If you’re interested in joining the Gastronomy Students Association but can’t make the first few events, don’t worry, we’ll have plenty more cooking, eating and socializing going on over the summer!


Taste of WGBH: Edible Scienceunnamed



Do you have an interest in science as well as a passion for the food and beverage industry? Then you are not going to want to miss this event.

Join us at WGBH Studios on Wednesday, April 19 at 7pm, and experience how Boston is influencing “edible science.” Edible wrappers, liquid nitrogen-based ice cream, grasshoppers as a form of protein and much more await you. Not only will you get to taste these scientific treats, but you will also hear the innovators speak about how these products came to be and what it means for our bodies now and in the future.

Get your tickets now because this event is sure to sell out.

You must be 21+ to attend this event. Please bring a valid form of identification.

This is not a seated event.


New Students for the new school year

It’s almost “back to school” season again. 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.

Sam Dolph grew up in the Boston area and received her BA in literature from Benningtonsam dolph College in Vermont. After becoming inspired by a course she took as an undergrad called “Women Writing About Nature,” Sam began farming on Martha’s Vineyard to develop her own connection to the land. Sam continued farming for four summers and was amazed watching little seedlings grow into bloom and then land on her dinner plate. Farming helped cultivate Sam’s passion for not only growing, cooking up, and eating delicious food, but also using that food as a catalyst to build sustainable relationships and communities.

After graduating, Sam spent time working in the food industry/food startup world in Boston to learn about the different ways food functions and is valued by consumers. Now, Sam understands food to be at the core of the social and environmental injustice that we experience as a society both locally and globally and is motivated by the intersections of nutrition, public health, and social justice.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Giselle Kennedy Lord grew up devouring her mother’s Lebanese stuffed Giselle Kennedy Lordgrape leaves on Christmas, Cuban black beans after school with her best friend, and Baja-style fish tacos at the Redondo Beach pier all summer long. While earning her degree in Film and Latin American Studies at the University of San Francisco, she became deeply interested and involved in the farm-to-table movement and the depth and breadth of food culture she discovered in the city and while traveling in Latin America and throughout the world. Giselle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2011 and formalized her video production business to specialize in food culture and agriculture. After years of capturing food stories, she stepped out from behind the lens and launched Quincho, a series of culturally inspired pop-up dinners in Hood River, Oregon, where she lives. Giselle has and continues to travel extensively and intentionally, perpetually motivated by the certain discovery of new food cultures, inherited techniques, and beautiful meals. Joining the Gastronomy program at BU is a dream realized for Giselle and she is truly looking forward to connecting with fellow food enthusiasts, expanding her knowledge and skill set, and discovering new ways to grow and define her business. Also, great dinner parties.

Christine Rogers, from Atherton, California, just graduated from Stanford where she Christine Rogersearned a BA in Classics (Ancient History). She has been passionate about food and cooking since she was a little girl. She was always in the kitchen baking with her best friend or making special dinners for her family. As Christine grew up, her love of food remained a driving force in her life. When she decided to take a gap year after high school, Christine decided to pursue her love of food by attending several cooking schools in Europe, studying baking/pastry in Paris, interning at a winery to learn how wine was made, and interning at a local restaurant. In college, she interned for a local chef, helping her to test recipes, republish her cookbook, teach cooking classes, and fundraise for an online cooking TV show. Christine hopes to become a food writer, working for a food/food and wine magazine and writing her own cookbooks one day.

Paweethida Tanjasiri was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand where the food scene isPaweethida Tanjasiri very vibrant and lively. She graduated with a bachelors degree in Interior Architecture and worked as an interior designer for a little while. After that she decided to step into the magazine industry as a graphic designer and food photographer, where she had a chance to meet a lot of people in food and media industry. From that point, it inspired her a lot and she started to work as a freelance food stylist. She also interned at “The Jewels of New York” (a multidisciplinary studio based in Manhattan which is focused on food services) as a food stylist assistant in order to gain more knowledge and practical techniques for food styling.

After returning to Bangkok, she started to be a full-time food stylist and also started her own food business called “Meat & Bones” which takes inspiration  from American BBQ culture. After she had been working in a food industry for years, both in food media and also running a restaurant, she decided to pursue her master degree in BU’s Gastronomy program to dig deeper in various aspects of food which will support her passion and career about food in the future.

More new students for the new academic year

It’s almost “back to school” season again. 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 five more students who will join us this fall.

Kea’nia Gulley is a novice food geek baked in Hartford, CT and cooled in the south. Kea'nia GulleyShe spent most summers running around with her cousin and taking over her grandma’s kitchen. Kea’nia grew a new found love for food while at Howard University as a Film Production major. While she always admired the beauty of food, she began to understand the agency food has to affect mental and physical health.

After graduation, Kea’nia developed youth programming for organizations in New York. She has led food therapy initiatives for young girls in the juvenile justice system to promote behavioral management and community reengagement. This experience highlighted that food not only touched people on an individual level but also has potential to dictate communal connections. These girls also taught her that she needed to put her money where her mouth was and follow her dreams. There were too many nights spent at home sifting through recipes and turning her kitchen into an altar of sorts.

Stepping out on faith brought her to Plated’s front door where she influenced customer success and reported on culinary trends with customers. Plated also opened the door to start working on sets as an assistant food and prop stylist where she continues to learn the craft and her own aesthetic. She has recently created a blog dedicated to exploring how women of color connect to food. Keania is eager for the Gastronomy program to hone her ability to share the cultural stories behind foodways. She also seeks to arm disadvantaged communities with the tools to develop sustainable food systems which reflect the cultural underpinnings of their environments.


Karl (KG) Koch originally hails from South Bend, Indiana, and attended Xavier University Karl Kochin Cincinnati, Ohio, graduating with a B.A. from the Philosophy, Politics, & the Public program. During his time in Cincinnati, KG helped to tend over 50 community gardens across the city with the Civic Garden Center, and, in doing so, developed his interest in the connection between agriculture and cuisine.

KG has spent the last year teaching at a small elementary school in Tucson, Arizona, as a school garden instructor with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. While vegetable gardening in the Sonoran Desert has proven a challenge, he has learned to value the connection between land and food and looks forward to bringing that experience to the Food Policy & Systems track at BU. He is excited for the move out east, is bracing himself for the stark change in climate, and hoping to find a small garden patch in time for spring.


Samantha McNulty was born and raised in Florham Park, New Jersey with a family that Samantha McNultyappreciated a good meal and loved hosting friends and family. As a senior in high school she appeared on FOX’s MasterChef as a top 100 contestant, baking a quadruple layer carrot cake for Gordon Ramsey, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot. Having always been told to own her own business by her dad, she graduated Villanova University this past May majoring in Management and Entrepreneurship in Villanova’s School of Business. Throughout her four years there she worked with Dining Services and the Office of Health Promotion to better the options for students and to promote healthy eating on campus. She also worked as a hostess at a farm to table restaurant her senior year and spent summers working at Martha Stewart Omnimedia as the Digital Recipe Intern, Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit as nutrition intern, Ninety Acres farm-to-table restaurant as a cooking school assistant, and at the popular NJ shore bakery the Scone Pony as a bakery assistant. Seeking to combine her love of food and her business degree, Samantha is looking forward to attending BU to further her goal of eventually owning her own food business- whatever that may be.


Madeline LongMadeline Long, from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is a recent graduate of College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine where she earned a BA in Human Ecology. Over the past few years Madeline has spent time working in various local restaurants as well as on farms in The White Mountains and Tuscany, focusing on the care of livestock. With a passion and love for coastal New England culture and cuisine, Madeline’s interest in Gastronomy ultimately stems from observing her father, a chef, work and teach in kitchens throughout her childhood. She hopes to one day open a bar and restaurant.


Samantha VitalaSamantha Vitale has her BA in Fitness, Exercise and Nutrition from the State University of New York at Potsdam. She is from Iowa and has travelled to many places to find her path to success. Samantha is interested in Gastronomy because she has always loved food and nutrition and wanted to learn more about it so that she can pass it on to others. Samantha wants to blend her degrees so that she can work for the USDA and educate communities about living a healthy and wholesome lifestyle through food and fitness.