New Students, Fall 2016


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 three of them.

Michelle Estades Santiago Michelle Estades Santiagowas born in Arecibo, one of the largest cities in the northern coast of Puerto Rico. In May 2016 she completed a BA in Journalism with a second concentration in Radio Production at the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus. From 2013 to 2016 she worked as a web journalist in the newspaper Metro Puerto Rico, and from 2014 to 2016 she also served as a journalist in Diálogo, the newspaper of the University of Puerto Rico, where she wrote many stories related to food. Since she was 17 years old Michelle has prepared birthday cakes and desserts for all occasions. So when she read about the master’s program in Gastronomy at Boston University she knew it was perfect for her because it combined her two professional areas. With this master she intends to specialize in food journalism and work that concept in her country.

Anastasia Nicolaou was born and raisedAnasatia Nicolaou (for the most part) in Silicon Valley, and is lucky to have a mother who loves cooking and traveling, and fervently exposed her to both from a young age. Anastasia came to Boston to attend Simmons College, graduating with honors in Economics and Political Science. While working her first day job out of school for Governor Deval Patrick, she worked weekends, waiting tables and getting to know the industry. This fostered a passion for cooking and food culture that had long been a hobby. Now the Communications Coordinator for an office focused on women’s parity in American politics, Anastasia joins the Gastronomy program’s Food Policy track to learn about food security and emerging markets, as well as explore the role of food in our collective cultural identity.

Donna Lopez is a California and Austin, Texas transplant to Boston and have family members in Chile. She has travelled extensively — from Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, and Panama to Western Europe, especially Spain. Donna is an MGH Donna Lopezgraduate with years of work in clinical nursing and education.  She has an undergraduate degree from UCLA in International Relations and a graduate degree from Tufts Medical School PHPD program in Pain Research, Education and Policy.  She has also studied the intersection of immunology, nutrition and infectious diseases in a global world. Ultimately, she came to the conclusion that aesthetics and nutritive value in meals along with good company are the foundation to health and well-being in human lives.  Donna also spent a few years studying Traditional Chinese Medicine and Asian concepts of nutrition.  In TCM the foundation of health comes ancestrally before birth, but after birth, the stomach (and the TCM concept of spleen) are at the center of human health.  Thus, nutrition is critical to the health and longevity of our species.

Donna plans to focus on food policy as well as history and culture and notes that the Gastronomy Program has been timed to an era when we need to reflect on our generation’s food supply from a lens on political, economic and food science/marketing policy perspective. She writes: “One of my favorite foods in the last few years are dishes made with quinoa which I was alarmed to learn that the Andean people who have grown and been nourished by this staple for a millennia can no longer afford the price, high on world market prices.  Their food substitution of less healthy grains and refined carbohydrates have led to increase in diabetes and heart disease in this population.  We are an intimately linked globalized world and I hope to raise at least my own consciousness and hopefully many others through the work in this program and in years after.  Julia Child and Jacques Pepin created the innovative idea of combining food study with academia and I think I have found the right place to study and contribute what I know.”

Back-to-School Season, Part 2

It is back to school season!  Classes in Boston University’s Gastronomy program begin on September 2, 2015.

Here is your next batch of introductions to some of the new students joining the Gastronomy Program for the Fall 2015 Semester.

Valencia BakerValencia Baker is a fresh transplant from beautiful California who is on a mission to soak up all things epicurean at Boston University. Blend the adventurously quirky energies of Ms. Frizzle, with the homey, bubbly feel of Giada de Laurenttiis, and you’ve got her in a tasty nutshell. She’s dipped into many food niches, from Culinary Arts Elementary School Teacher, farm hand and prep cook at a Roman countryside restaurant, to Food Shelter Organizer outside of Sacramento, CA, and prep cook in Philadelphia’s financial district, but she’s hungry for academic growth.

A graduate of University of California Davis’ Sociology, Anthropology, and Sustainable Food Systems programs, her mind is excited about food justice. Born to an artistic and hardworking Afro-Latina family, Valencia grew up eating and cooking lots of colorfully rich meals at the kitchen table. Food brought everyone together after hard days’ work and each delectable dish, prepared with care, was enthusiastically celebrated by all. Eventually, the desire to share with others the feelings of love, gratitude, and pleasure that creatively prepared meals bought her family became an insatiable passion. After undergraduate school, she focused on merging her food love fury with her blooming social concerns for food justice. After BU Gastronomy, Valencia plans to open a food education farm supported bed and breakfast.

Elizabeth Nieves is from the Bluegrass State of Elizabeth NievesKentucky, 1,000 miles south of Boston. She recently graduated from the University of Kentucky with her Bachelor’s of Science in Food Science. Food science led her to two internships, including one at WILD Flavors, Inc. and the Food Systems Innovation Center (FSIC) at UK. Working at WILD gave her insight into the commercial food industry, while working with FSIC taught her about food microbiology and how to do home canning. Baking is where her real passion lies and, thus, her friends have affectionately nicknamed her ‘Bethy Crocker.’ Her great grandfather started the family bakery, which was passed down two generations and is no doubt where her fondest baking memories began. By studying Gastronomy, she would like to expand upon her culinary skills, while keeping a global perspective. Elizabeth will focus on food policy and hopes to work with the global food supply or nutrition policies in the future.

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti

Metiga ParkcharoenMetiga Parkcharoen credits this quote with giving her the courage to follow her gourmet dream of becoming a well-versed food connoisseur and restaurateur. Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, Metiga has had the chance from a young age to study in many other countries, including Singapore, France and the United Kingdom.She received her BA in Marketing Communication Management from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand with a term of study aboard program at Sciences Po in Paris. She has also completed a Master’s Degree in Marketing at University of Bath in UK.  Through this travel she became trilingual (English, Thai and Chinese) and she also developed an interest in the various food scenes.

Metiga’s wanderlust and experiences living aboard and her eagerness to try out all kinds of cuisines have sparked her love of food. She anticipates an entrepreneurial career, revolving around curating the ultimate dining experiences. She also hopes that she will be able to contribute and share her extended knowledge of the food manufacturing industry and experiences while working as a marketer for one of the leading food conglomerates in her home country.

Yi Chieh Yeh, also known as Erica, is from Taiwan but has lived in South Africa for most of her life. She recently graduated from the University of Stellenbosch with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. She started baking her own birthday cakes to take to school Yi Chieh Yehto share with her classmates in her early teens and has loved cooking and baking since. Having worked with and talked to all sorts of people about their health and nutrition during her university days, she became intrigued by how food, culture, history and so many aspects each play a different but important role in an individual’s life and well-being. She dreams to be able to create beautiful food, as well as, to give appropriate and effective dietary and culinary advice and guidance to people with special dietary needs.

Meet Spring 2015’s New Gastronomy Students, Part II

We are pleased to have another great cohort  joining the Boston University Gastronomy Program. These new students have been asked to submit a picture of themselves, a short bio, and what they love most about food.

kelsey mungerKelsey Munger grew up in a small town outside Boston and has been working at various bakeries and food related jobs since high school. Since a young age she has also learned to navigate the food world and create enjoyable food that accommodate her food allergies. Allow her food allergies provide limitations, it never discouraged her from following the path she’s always found most intriguing. She graduated with a B.A in Sociology and a minor in Human Development from Connecticut College. During this time she worked as the head baker of the on campus cafe blending local ingredients into bakery staples for stressed out college students. She was also a selected scholar for her school’s community action program.

This passion for community engagement and food eventually collided as she completed her senior independent study in the connection between food and identity specifically relating to the Eastern Pequot Tribe of Eastern Connecticut. This was just the start of her interest in exploring food and policy which eventually guided her to the gastronomy program at BU.

Kelsey currently works as a baker at a gourmet gluten free bakery in Belmont, Ma and eventually hopes to open up her own bakery that uses food to bring communities together

kierstenKiersten Vincent grew up in small agricultural community in Illinois where she developed an appreciation for farmers and local produce. She loves to travel and learn about new places, and understands that a great way to learn about new places is through experiencing the local cuisine and cultural dining customs. Her love of travel and maternal heritage prompted her to study German. She received her degree from the University of Illinois which included a one year study abroad in Vienna. Whether she’s donning a Dirndl and drinking liters of beer at Oktoberfest, eating a Wiener Schnitzel larger than her head in Vienna, or loving every bit of the Blues, Brews and BBQ fest in the hometown of her alma mater, she’s enjoying life through food and travel.

She sampled many different avenues through employment and scholastic courses in search of that perfect career. Though every path resulted in a dead end, her passion for food and travel consistently prevailed. She finally realized the prospect of a career that incorporates both food and travel by learning of the Gastronomy program and researching the career possibilities. She is excited to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience she will gain through the program and is eager to start the process towards a career as a Food and Wine Consultant.

daniDani Willcutt hails from Michigan where one drinks “pop” instead of “soda” and one of the Great Lakes is always within close proximity. In her free time Dani travels as much as possible (always with a list of must-try local food). Her most recent focus has been on the South and, “trust me,” she says, “Cities like Charleston, South Carolina have a lot to offer.” Besides cooking and eating Dani also enjoys yoga, writing, and all things artistic. She is now learning the science of baking (which has thus far lead only to burnt toffee and granola). Since moving to Boston in 2012 Dani has served, bartended and managed her way through the city’s restaurant scene, evolving her love for the culinary world into a full blown passion. Dani is the bar director for a popular Cambridge restaurant where she focuses on classic techniques and ingredients while maintaining the restaurant’s local aesthetic. She also handles the restaurant’s social media presence and in-house marketing. This multi-level approach has played a big part in furthering her understanding of the restaurant and food industry. Dani can’t wait to begin classes at BU where she can meet and work with like-minded individuals who share her passion for the world of food.

emilyEmily Milliken Taylor has recently moved back to the northeast from Austin, Texas, where she spent three years figuring out that her bachelor’s degree in art history was fun, but ultimately not her passion. She worked in some restaurants and met some cool people and figured out she really just wants to talk about food all the time. Her hope is that furthering her education with the gastronomy program will allow her to pursue a career that nurtures her ability to spread her passion for food to others through education, philanthropy and entrepreneurship. And it would be really great if she could focus on updating her recipe blog more often.

She currently works for Columbus Hospitality Group in the reservations office and has a truly impressive customer service voice. It’s a full octave higher than her actual voice and people often confuse her with a 12 year old. She likes taking silly photos and generally prefers frivolity. She’s not sure about this whole cold thing but she’s originally from Maine and she used to really like to ski. She does really miss Mexican food and mezcal, so she might move back to Texas someday. In the meantime she’ll be practicing her dinner party skills and perfecting her chowder recipe.

khineKhine (“Stephanie”) Zin Win has been inspired to enter the hospitality industry through her wanderlust and culinary experiences she has had traveling around the world. Born and raised in the once isolated Burma (Myanmar), she was privileged to be able to study abroad as an international student in other countries. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from University of Massachusetts Amherst, and studied abroad in Switzerland for a semester as well. At Boston University, she plans to complete the business focus area within the Gastronomy Program.

Khine has been exposed to both the traditional Burmese culture of hospitality and cuisine, as well as global professional hospitality through her work experience at a five star hotel in Burma and hospitality courses while pursuing her Bachelor’s degree. Her time in the kitchen is mostly spent with cake-flour powdered on her face and a spatula in her hand. As a foodie, her experiences have taken her beyond boundaries from experiencing barbeque snakes and spiders in Cambodia to escargot in Paris. During family trips, while her family relaxes in hotel rooms, she will be out searching for the “Must-Eat Food” of the destination she is visiting. Moreover, she is inspired by the story telling side of any food she is eating. To her, every dish comes with a story and she believes the stories enhance the flavor and experience of the dish. Coming from the other side of the world, Khine looks forward to sharing her Burmese culture with students in Gastronomy Program. Her passion to let others experience what she had experienced through her journey of Hospitality will allow her to bring out the best in everyone around her.

Meet Spring 2015’s New Gastronomy Students

With a new year comes a new semester of food studies at Boston University, as well as a new batch of food-lovers embarking on their journey as future food scholars. We are pleased to have another great cohort  joining the Boston University Gastronomy Program. These new students have been asked to submit a picture of themselves, a short bio, and what they love most about food.

ClaribelClaribel Alvarado was born in the Dominican Republic, but has lived in New York City more than half her life. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management from New York City College of Technology (City Tech) with a concentration in the culinary arts. While a student at City Tech, she was awarded an opportunity to study abroad at CFC Mederic Ecole Hoteliere de Paris Jean Drouant. Upon completion of her study abroad program, she was awarded a Certificate in French Culinary History and Techniques. The economic uncertainties of the last few years persuaded her not to leave the secure benefits guaranteed by public service. She currently works for the New York City Police Department (NYPD) which is the furthest thing from the culinary world.

Claribel writes “I love my job, but I have a passion for food and cooking. I subscribe to several culinary publications. I love trying new recipes and putting my own spins to it, experimenting with flavor, ingredients, how to balance aroma and taste. I love eating out, and living in NYC provides an amazing array of the best cuisines representative of the world. I’m looking forward to completing the Certificate in Food Studies and make myself eligible to enroll for the Master’s in Gastronomy. I would like to teach culinary arts to underprivileged and at risk teens and also own a small café or restaurant.”

JamesJames Martin Moran is a Massachusetts native, amateur photographer, avid traveler, and typical foodie. The evolution of his interest in all things food started when he was fresh out of Boston College: he simply wanted to learn how to cook for himself. Since then, he has filled a floor-to-ceiling bookcase with timeless cookbooks ranging from Julia Child and Craig Claiborne to Alice Waters and America’s Test Kitchen.

In 1992, James moved to Los Angeles, officially as a Ph.D. student in Cinema-TV at USC, but in his spare time, he enrolled in a Professional Chef certificate program at the Epicurean School. Although the credential paved the way to work in a kitchen, his career goals leaned more toward working with both food non-profits and the food industry as an advisor mediating between big food profits and slow food culture. In 2008, he moved back to Boston and started volunteering at Community Servings, Cooking Matters, No Kid Hungry, and Mass Farmers Markets. Working in marketing at the time, he decided to earn a Certificate in Nutrition for Communications Professionals from Tufts. Now, as a consultant with the Foodscape Group, a nutrition strategy advisory firm, he is excited to continue my food education in the Gastronomy Program.

JerrelleJerrelle Guy was born to a creative family in sunny South FL. After spending much of her adolescence writing poems, painting, making short films, and pausing in between to devour food to fuel more artistic creations, she soon identified herself as an artist fostered by the magic of food. With her finger, literally, in one too many pies, she moved to New England to get her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

For Jerrelle, food has become inseparable from art.  She turned nearly every RISD assignment into a commentary on food.  She studied in Rome under the guise of learning ancient Italian architecture, but technically spent more time at the local pizzeria. She started a food blog, Chocolate for Basil, where she began showcasing her food illustrations alongside recipes. And after graduating, she moved to Dallas, Texas and used her design degree to work with Commercial Photographers and Stylists specializing in Food Advertising.

Her passionate spirit, impulsive behavior, and voracious appetite have landed her in front of so many delicious plates, and eventually, of course, in front of the application site for BU’s Gastronomy Program. Her plan now, is to discover more avenues where food and design intersect, and possibly even help carve some new pathways herself.

JamieJamie Schwarcz was born on Long Island, NY where she spent her childhood frequently visiting New York City with her father. During their visits, her love of all things food, wine, and cooking began to develop. She loved talking with her father about the ingredients and history behind each dish they were enjoying. When she was not learning from her father, she was spending time in the kitchen with her Hungarian grandmother making sure that every family recipe was accounted for.

Jamie obtained her undergraduate degree from Boston University and currently spends her days supporting the Boston University SAP Payroll System. She enjoys traveling to foreign places and learning about the local culture (especially experiencing the local cuisine), trying new restaurants, and spending time with family and friends. She is looking forward to exploring her passion of all things culinary and meeting the BU Gastronomy community.

girlRachel Sholtes is on a mission to sniff, chew, slurp, touch, and talk about every possible type of cuisine. While her academic history lies in English literature and creative writing, what really motivates her to get up in the morning is the prospect of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between. So far she has managed to eat in 29 US states and 10 different countries, and hopes that the list continues to grow. Prior to relocating to Boston in November of 2014, Rachel worked for years with Counter Culture Coffee as a barista at a locally owned bakery in Baltimore. Since heading up North she has shifted her focus towards a different end of the beverage spectrum, joining a small Boston-area wine shop as a sales associate. Immensely interested in region-specific food histories, she has loved learning about the world of wine so far and looks forward to continuing her food education through every possible outlet.

Rachel is thrilled to be a part the Gastronomy program and hopes that it will facilitate her passion for eating, cooking, and storytelling, as well as help further her understanding of food sciences and the history of agricultural practices. She hopes to one day combine these myriad interests into a career that involves writing, recipe development, and advocating sustainable lifestyles for urban environments.

rachelRachel Beebe has lived on Boston’s South Shore for just nearly two and a half decades. She discovered her culinary prowess in the backyard when, at the young age of two, she decided to bread earthworms in sand and serve them with a side salad from the compost bin. Her dishes have grown to include actual edible items since then and her ambition and adventurous spirit with all things food have endured.

Like many who graduate from college with a liberal arts degree (UMass Boston, Anthropology), Rachel has spent a great deal of time figuring out what she wants to be when she grows up. She discovered BU’s Gastronomy program while still an undergrad and, after a brief hiatus following graduation, she decided it was the next step in the whole figuring-out-life process. During her days Rachel works at a cookbook publisher where she definitely lingers too long perusing the inventory for inspiration and enjoys evenings spent unwinding at the cutting board with a glass of wine close by. She loves produce shopping, mincing garlic and watching reruns of The French Chef. She is most excited to meet new people who share her obsession with food and to see what path her studies might lead her.

JulietJuliet Tierney is a native Bostonian who decided to pack up and head out west to get her undergraduate degree in History and Sociology at the University of Colorado – Boulder. Between hiking the flatirons with her Portuguese Water Dog, Lucy, and attending CU-Buffs football games, Juliet was bartending at local bars and country clubs where she gained a passion for wine and craft beer. Hailing from a large Italian and Irish family, Juliet grew up watching Julia Child every Sunday morning on PBS and lovingly gained the nickname from her siblings, “Juliet Child.” Her prized possession at the age of 6 was a recipe autographed by the cooking guru herself. When she’s not posted up at America’s Test Kitchen in the customer service department, Juliet can be found going to wine tastings, walking around Brookline with Lucy, and perfecting her grandmother’s eggplant parmesan recipe (which she has decided will never happen).

A New Season of Gastronomy Graduate Students, Part II

It’s that time of year again, time for new Gastronomy students! Joining the program this coming January, 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 group of Gastronomy grads.

Mallory Cushman: Born and raised in Connecticut, Mallory came to Boston University to get her BA in Art History and Anthropology. After graduating, she spent several years traveling, travel writing and cooking on sailboats until she finally realized that everything she was doing revolved around cooking, eating, discovering new foods and sharing her love of everything gastronomic.

After her delicious epiphany, she returned to Boston to take an internship at Chefs Collaborative and to work at Flour Bakery, where her love of food and the industry grew every day. Mallory currently works at Oldways Preservation Trust where she is the Program Manager of the Whole Grains Council. Her experience in the non profit side of the food industry will be a great backbone for her studies.

In addition to eating anything and everything, (you have to at least once, right?!) Mallory is an avid cook and baker and can’t wait to spend some time in kitchen with her fellow like-minded Gastronomy peers!

Meghan Elwell: Meghan’s gastronomical journey began as an undergraduate at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. This appreciation for food and the significance of sharing food was intensified during her time in Cape Town, South Africa, where she experienced the vibrant, fresh food culture that is prevalent there. After earning her BS in International Studies at WPI, Meghan serendipitously turned what started out as a temporary job in the restaurant industry into a career. Despite the demanding schedule, Meghan found her place in “the industry” and is dedicated to learning how to run a successful food business. She now specializes in beverages and looks forward to expanding her knowledge of food and wine in a way that is both practically useful and intellectually satisfying, as this should make her well prepared for her own entrepreneurial endeavors in the future.

Molly Farrar: Molly is a native of Virginia, also known as the place with some of best ham in the world (in her humble opinion.) She has always been interested in cooking and baking, with some of her earliest memories consisting of standing on a stool in the kitchen and “helping” her grandmother by licking the spoon. Travels during college piqued her interest in other cultures’ cuisine and history. Since graduating in 2011, she has worked in various restaurants, which has taught her about food preparation, menu planning, and people’s weird eating habits.

In her free time, Molly likes to run, and though she definitely won’t be qualifying for the Boston Marathon anytime soon, she is always happy to have running partners. Other interests include craft beer, premium cable TV shows, and petting every dog she meets.

Molly hopes her studies in Gastronomy will help her combine her BA in English with her personal and professional experiences with food in a meaningful way, and hopefully lead to a lifelong career in the industry. She is excited about being in a new city and experiencing everything Boston and the program have to offer!

Ariel Knoebel: Ariel has always been a lover of food, following the call of her raging sweet tooth and cultural curiosity on many culinary adventures. This passion crystallized during her undergraduate studies, when she realized that food is more than just what lands on the dinner plate, but an important part of the story for every individual, family, and culture. Through this exploration, she has decided to blend her lifetime passion for food with her professional goals as a writer to document these stories.

She is excited to return to Boston, where she completed her undergraduate degree at Emerson College in 2011. In the meantime, she has traveled, volunteered, and spent some quality time with the family dogs at home in Southern California. Outside of her studies, she is a dedicated yogi, intermittent crafter, lifelong traveler, and a lover of cozy sweaters and good tea.

Katie Kritzalis: Katie spent her childhood living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and traveling the world with her family. While her passion for travel and foreign cultures was ignited in her youth, it wasn’t until high school that she began to appreciate exotic foods and eat her vegetables.

After studying Art History at Hamilton College, Katie spent five years managing public events for New York City’s Bryant Park. During this time she developed an awareness of the industrial food system and a desire to improve it, so she left Manhattan to learn how to grow food on a 5-acre organic vegetable farm in Westchester County, NY.

She has spent the last two years living and working on a small, diversified farm in Fairfield County, CT, where her experience has included growing specialty produce, raising heirloom-breed livestock, direct marketing to chefs, CSA management, and coordinating farm-based dinners and workshops.

She will miss fixing meals with freshly harvested vegetables and sharing her food scraps with the pigs, but is excited to begin the Gastronomy Program at BU, explore Boston’s food scene, and get involved with organizations that support local food and agriculture in and around the city.

Sarah McKeen: Sarah has been a food lover ever since she was tall enough to reach the handle of the refrigerator. Her preoccupation with food transformed into a devotion when she decided to pursue a Bachelor’s in Food Science at Cornell University. Between labs and lectures, she spent her extracurricular time cooking, eating, exploring, writing, and learning about food. Most weekends were spent in flux between the library, the Ithaca Farmer’s Market, local wineries, and friends’ kitchens. Sarah’s explorations have continued since graduating in 2013. Whether it be a cafe on the Italian coast, a boardwalk in New Jersey, or a food truck in Brooklyn, she is always on the lookout for obscure, delicious food and the stories behind it.

Sarah has worked in research and development, food safety, and sensory. In joining the Gastronomy program at BU she looks forward to having a great time in gaining a deeper understanding of the culinary and cultural side of food.

In addition to food, she enjoys running, traveling, and exploring her hometown of Boston.

Briana Witt: Briana grew up eating at an unconventional kitchen table. As the daughter of a camp and retreat director, she ate most of her meals in a dining hall among warm but rotating strangers. It was there, in the Colorado woodlands, that Briana was introduced to cooking. Despite learning her way around the camp kitchen as a young girl, Briana didn’t develop a passion for food until she was an undergraduate English major at Portland State University.

Portland, Oregon is known for its food trucks and farm fresh produce so it didn’t take long for Briana’s free time to fill up with food-related hobbies. By graduation, her interest in food gained her a two-year position as a paralegal for a firm specializing in water law. Although Briana enjoyed working with farmers, she craved a career that would combine her love of food with her background in literature.

After reading Consider the Oyster by M.F.K. Fisher, Briana found a home in food writing. She took the risk, quit her legal career and moved to Boston to study gastronomy. She is looking forward to establishing herself as a writer and exploring the diversity of human experience through the lens of food.

Beth Wittenstein: Beth Wittenstein was born and raised with a love of travel, and has found food to be a huge motivating factor in deciding where to visit next (love of Italian cuisine inspired a whole semester abroad in Florence!). After graduating from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English, Beth began expanding her culinary interests by teaching herself to bake, and has been blogging about the experience at Young Idealistic Baker ever since.

When she began scouring food blogs for inspiration and recipes to follow or adapt, she quickly discovered that she wasn’t only interested in learning how to make a perfect soufflé; she also wanted to know where the idea and technique originated, how many variations pastry chefs have created over time and how to create a unique variation, original enough to be interesting yet still true to its origins. Beth is looking forward to this unique opportunity to gain a holistic view of the impact of food on society and build toward a food-oriented career.

When she isn’t destroying her kitchen in pursuit of mastering the art of meringues or infusing caramel with whiskey, she loves spending time outdoors, attending yoga classes and taste-testing every Thai restaurant in the Greater Boston area.

Come back soon to see the rest of our new Gastronomy graduate students!