BU Gastronomy Joins Instagram

Well, we’ve gone and done it. First it was Facebook, then Twitter, and now we’ve joined the ranks of millions and signed up for an Instagram account to share all the food related photos we take throughout the year. We hope to include visuals from things like Gastronomy events, guest speaker seminars, get togethers, field trips, and, of course, all the wonderful snacks our students share in class. Follow along and be sure to share your own BU food adventures with us by tagging our instagram handle bugastronomy or using the hashtag #bugastronomy.

Here’s our first instagram!:


While we work on uploading all the deets and eats that go on in the program, check out a few of the following instagrammers and their own food-filled feeds:
handle: alxgrossmn
aka: Alex Grossman, Creative Director at Bon Appetit

handle: kingarthurflour
aka: King Arthur Flour, Vermont Flour Mill

handle: julieskitchen
aka: Julie Lee, Food Photographer in LA

handle: idafrosk
aka: Ida Skivenes, food artist and photographer in Oslo, Norway

handle: thefauxmartha
aka: Melissa Coleman, blogger and baker

handle: testkitchen
aka: America’s Test Kitchen, Brookline, Mass.

handle: talkingfood
aka: Talking Food, food with personality

And, of course, this list just wouldn’t be complete without a few local BU Instagrammers:

handle: hungry_terrier
aka: The Hungry Terrier, Boston University’s Food Channel

handle: bufoodandwine
aka: BU Food and Wine, our building neighbors and culinary cohorts

We hope to see you all on instagram and be sure to let us know if you have an account we should follow!

Open Classes for Spring 2012

Having trouble picking out your classes for next semester? We’ve got just the thing to help you out. There are a number of wonderful courses available for Spring 2012, and the following classes still have a few slots left. Several of these are special topics courses that will not be offered regularly. Check them out and register today to secure a slot!


ML 610 A1 The Big Fat Fat Controversy
6-9pm, GCB 201

The word “fat” is charged with many meanings and associations. There is the biochemical entity called fat, the stuff that fills our adipose tissues. Fat, one of the macronutrients that constitute our food, is an ingredient in a myriad of dishes. Fat is associated with ill-health, particularly Type II diabetes. Fat gives shape to the human form, thus contributing to body image. Effort may be expended, via dieting and training, to eliminate bodily fat or reconfigure it as muscle. And fat represents different things in different cultures. This course will try to circle the girth of this amazingly rich subject.


ML 610 B1 Alcohol & Culture
6-9pm, EOP 266

In Italy, France and Germany alcoholic beverages are considered an important part of the daily diet and commensality. In many African countries, alcohol has important ritual uses and is often used in rites of passage. In the United States, Americans have a fraught relationship with alcohol–from Prohibition to binge drinking. This course will explore the culture of alcohol in historic and contemporary contexts throughout the globe. The course material will focus on such topics as: locality and taste; gender and drinking; questions of morality; and the medicinal uses of alcohol.

ML 612 B1 Pots and Pans
6-9pm, STO 253

Exploration of the food cultures and technologies through material culture- pots, pans, and utensils. Course will range broadly across cultures, time, and space with emphasis on medieval and early modern times. Life histories of humble, overlooked, everyday objects associated with food preparation and consumption; kitchens from prehistory to the present; tradition and fashion in cooking & dining vessels; pots and cooking technology; pots as metaphors & symbols.


ML 722 C1 Food Activism
6-9pm, CAS 325

In this class students will explore the work of anthropologists and other social scientists on food activism citizens’ efforts to promote social and economic justice through food practices and challenge the global corporate agrifood system. The class will explore diverse individual and collective forms of food activism including veganism, gleaning, farmers’ markets, organic farming, fair trade, CSAs, buying groups, school gardens, anti-GMO movements, Slow Food, Via Campesina, and others. It will address the questions: what is food activism, what are its goals, what is working and not working, and what are the results?


ML 610 EL Culinary Tourism

Culinary tourism is “eating out of curiosity.” This approach to food has had significant impacts on the development of cuisines, political history, and the relationships between groups of people. This class will explore culinary tourism from an interdisciplinary perspective as a human impulse, an historical force representing power structures, and a theme within tourism. It will ask what it means for individuals to eat the food of an “other,” and whether or not such eating can lead to cultural understanding and ecological and economic sustainability. Students will also learn basic principles of tourism by completing a project developing a culinary tourism product (trail, vacation, tour, food item, restaurant).

Introducing Barbara Rotger, Program Coordinator

The Gastronomy Program is thrilled to introduce our brand new Program Coordinator, alumna Barbara Rotger! If you haven’t gotten a chance to meet this talented lady, check out her introduction below, and stop by her office to introduce yourself. Welcome, Barbara!

by Barbara Rotger

I grew up not far from here in Carlisle, and now live in Melrose with my husband, our two teenagers, a cat, and more goldfish than I can keep track of. I (try) to play the piano, do quite a bit of volunteer work for my children’s schools, and, of course, enjoy cooking at home. This year I gave up coaxing vegetables to grow under our giant oak trees, and decided that growing herbs is a more viable option.

I have always been interested in food – my family attributes this fascination to the fact that they were living in cramped quarters when I was born, so my crib had to be in the dining room. (I think I was first taken to Weight Watchers when I was seven…) As an older child, my grandmother came over and cooked with me one afternoon every week. I went to Brown University as an undergraduate, with the intent to major in chemistry and pursue a career in food science. This seemed to be the only viable career option that had “food” in its title. However, organic chemistry proved to be my downfall. (Perhaps my heart was never fully invested in a career dedicated to preventing the frozen pizza cheese from turning green, or perhaps I was simply pulling too many shifts tending bar at the Brown Faculty Club.) I ended up majoring in Russian Studies, and after graduation I went on to work at Harvard University, in the Ukrainian Research Institute. Despite the fact that I was working at the Ukrainian Research Institute during the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the birth of an independent Ukrainian state, my real excitement in being at Harvard was still all about the food. Some of the first academic food studies courses were offered during those years by the Radcliffe Seminars, and I was able to use my employee benefits to enroll. I had finally found my academic home.

I eventually left Harvard to stay home with my kids for some years, but never let go of the idea of food studies. I took a few more classes at Radcliffe before that program ended, and finally, some years later, enrolled in the Gastronomy Program. It was fortunate for me that the Gastronomy Program was offered through MET college, as the part-time and evening class schedule made it possible for me to further my education, hold occasional part-time jobs, do some volunteer work, and still take care of shepherding my kids around. I used the slow-and-steady approach to the MLA, taking one course at a time. You could say I really had a chance to savor the program.

I finally finished up last spring, and am very pleased to be working now as Program Coordinator. I am in room 111 – please stop by and say hello.

Practicing Gastronomy rescheduled for May 4

In order to allow people to attend Neil Coletta’s going away gathering before Wednesday classes, we have rescheduled the Practicing Gastronomy discussion. Our chat with Chefs Collaborative program director Leigh Belanger will be held the following Wednesday, May 4, from 4:45 to 5:45pm.

Please drop in on Neil in room 117 from 5 to 7pm on Wednesday, April 27 and wish him well as he prepares to begin graduate studies in Buffalo, New York.

Updated food recommendations, new student profile

Many thanks for the kind welcome our new student blog has received from the Gastronomy community. We welcome your feedback and involvement as the blog continues to take shape.

Be sure to visit the Cooking + Eating in Boston section, as it’s been updated with your suggestions. And check out the new student profile on David Strock, who’ll be graduating soon and leaving Boston behind for Spain.