Bostonia: The Alumni Magazine of Boston University

Gordon Hamerlsey, Hamersley's Bistro

What are the essential elements of a great chef? As these snapshots of five great chefs illustrate, the answers run from soup to nuts, or when it comes to fields of study, from education to graphic arts. Their common ingredient: Boston University, which has been cooking up culinary talent for decades, sometimes in unexpected corners. The culinary arts program, started with help from America's first top chef, Julia Child (Hon.'76), has been the launch pad for many successes, and the School of Hospitality Administration has prepared many more for rewarding careers in the big leagues of the restaurant business.

How does it work? Five of BU's best-known chefs tell us how they got from here to there.

By Jennifer Blaise Kramer

Rocco Dispirito, Union Pacific

Katharine DeWitt See, Kingfish Hall

Geoff Gardner, Sel de la Terre

Peter Brett, Circle Bistro, Notti Bianche

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On 8 July 2009 at 11:02 AM, Jennifer (SHA'07) wrote:

such a great intersting article! I had no idea Rocco and Hamersley were BU alum! do they offer free apps or dessert when fellow BU alum eat at their restaurants? haha! I would love to see an article about BU Alumni chefs that own restaurants in New York City! I definitely want to go see all these chefs in action. GO SHA!

On 8 July 2009 at 8:51 AM, WendyS. (SHA'93) wrote:

I was thrilled to read this article which surrounds so many of my contemporaries. I will still never forget the guest chef visit by Gordon Hammersely where he taught us to make a Beet Flatbread. I still have the recipe! Watching Rocco's accomplishments kept me in awe that I took classes in the same rooms as he. And while I don't personally remember Geoff I know we must have shared a class or 10 ! Way to go! Next time I'm in Beantown I promise to visit Sel! All of these accounts make me proud to be a BU grad, honored to have shared the hallowed (hollowed!?) halls of 808 Comm Ave with these stars and excited to learn about the new generations' efforts with a BU SHA degree under their belts (aprons!?)

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Lost Language

Dismissed by Arab and European conquerors, an ancient writing system holds the literature, history, and even medicinal cures of many African cultures

Top Chefs

Five culinary masters with one common ingredient