Last month, I graduated with a Masters in Gastronomy from Boston University. This revelation is often followed by blank stares and questions about my future in intestinal medicine or the study of outer space. Close, but no cigar.
Gastronomy is the study of food, not just from a culinary perspective, but from anthropological, historical, scientific, and policy-based perspectives as well. Below are the courses I took to complete my degree. You can click on each course to read more about it. Also, check out the Gastronomy student blog to learn more about current students and alumni.
Required core classes for the Gastronomy program:
- Understanding Food: Theory and Methodology (Rachel Black)
- Food Anthropology (Carole Counihan)
- Food History (Kyri Clafin)
- Food and the Senses (Netta Davis)
Food Policy concentration:
- Public Writing and Communication (Louise Dunlap)
- Lab in the Culinary Arts (Christine Merlo)
- Food Activism (Cristina Grasseni)
- Food Writing for the Media (Sheryl Julian)
Other classes that I wish I would have had a chance to take (had time permitted) are: Food Marketing, The Many Meanings of Meat, Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts, Urban Agriculture, Food Science, and Food Microbiology.
What does one do with a Gastronomy degree? Graduates of the program work as food writers, consultants for food and beverage companies, culinary instructors, food marketers, as well as for nonprofit organizations working to reform the food system. As for me? I’m using my culinary training and knowledge of the greater food system in order to achieve my long-term goal of making healthy foods both more accessible and more appealing.