New Culinary Arts Award Honors Program’s Founder
A generous gift from Mary Ann Esposito and the Mary Ann Esposito Foundation means a new scholarship has been cooked up for students of the culinary arts at Boston University.
Named for the dedicated cofounder and longtime administrator of BU’s Culinary Arts and Gastronomy programs, the Rebecca Alssid Award honors Ms. Alssid’s legacy of leadership in the appreciation of food and food culture.
Learn more about the award here.
Gastropod Interview with MET Director of Gastronomy
Director of Gastronomy Megan Elias contributed to “Cooking the Books with Yotam and Nigella,” an episode of the podcast Gastropod. Cohosted by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley, Gastropod looks at food through the lens of science and history. During the episode, Dr. Elias—who recently authored Food on the Page: Cookbooks and American Culture—discusses different ways that cookbooks reflected historical shifts in class, culture, and technology.
Listen to the full podcast here.
MET Drink Expert Names Area’s Best Beers
Sandy Block, a certified Master of Wine who teaches in both the MET’s Wine Studies and Gastronomy programs, gave a toast to his favorite local craft brewers in a recent interview with BU Today. With nods to the beers he enjoys most in the heat and at parties, see if Block called out your preferred brew in BU Today.
French Awards Recognize Wine Book by MET Instructor
Chianti Classico: The Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine, a history of the fabled Italian wine co-authored by Programs in Food & Wine instructor William Nesto and wife Frances Di Savino, was the only book penned by Americans to win an award at a prestigious Parisian wine conference this year.
The jury of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) bestowed Chianti Classico with the 2017 Special Mention Award in the “Monographs” category. The honor recognizes “the best works published over the past two previous years which provide an original and relevant contribution, with an international significance for the vine and wine sector,” according to the organization.
MET Master of Wine’s Historical Italian Text Nets Cookbook Award
Programs in Food & Wine instructor and certified Master of Wine Bill Nesto, who teaches in the MET Wine Studies program, and co-author/wife Frances Di Savino were feted last month when their book celebrating the history of the modern wine appellation known as Chianti Classico was named a winner at the 2017 Gourmand International World Cookbook Awards.
Chianti Classico: The Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine explores the history of Italy’s Chianti region and its signature wine. It became the only entry from the United States to win in the “Drink Special Awards” category during the ceremony, which was held on May 27, in Yantai, China.
Learn more about the Gourmand Awards here.
Documentary Tells Life Story, Accomplishments of Chef Jacques Pépin
Before Jacques Pépin became an acclaimed chef, TV host, author, and cofounder (with Julia Child) of MET’s Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts and MLA in Gastronomy, he put in his time humbly developing the craft that would go on to bring him worldwide renown. The story of his ascent as a food icon is documented in the new PBS special, American Masters—Jacques Pépin: The Art of the Craft, which debuts Friday, May 26, at 9 p.m.
After a recent advance screening of the documentary, Pépin admitted that when he got his start, kitchen work was not as respected as it has become today. “At the time, the cook was very low on the social scale,” Pépin explained.
Read more in the Boston Herald.
MET Lecturer Sour on Sugar Industry
On Thursday, January 12, Taubes—author of The Case Against Sugar—gave a lecture of the same name, co-sponsored by Programs in Food & Wine and the MET Gastronomy program. Read more of Taubes’ conclusions in the New York Times.
MET Instructor’s New Winery Gives Students a Taste of Winemaking
Certified Specialist of Wine Jacquelyn Groeper, who teaches in the Metropolitan College Certificate Program in Wine Studies—and who is also a graduate of the program—recently opened Artis Winery in Pembroke, Massachusetts. Her winery has already hosted MET’s Red Winemaking Laboratory—taught by Groeper and Master of Wine Bill Nesto—which offers lessons on how to process grapes, vinify them, and mature, analyze, stabilize, bottle, and label the resulting wine. Those interested in learning how to make wine should attend the Winemaking Information Session on Friday, April 21, 2017, 6–7:30 p.m., for information about the next laboratory.
Read more about Groeper’s Artis Winery in the Boston Globe.
The Earthy Virtues of Fermentation
Home fermentation is having a moment, according to the Boston Globe, which reports that the practice of preparing your own uniquely nutritious food is rising in popularity.
Jeremy Ogusky, quoted in the Globe item, will be teaching people to make probiotic foods like kimchi and sauerkraut—which he calls fermentation’s “gateway drug”—as part of the BU Programs in Food & Wine’s Hands-On Cooking Classes seminar series on Tuesday, October 27, 6–8:30 p.m.
Register for Ogusky’s Fermentation seminar, and learn to make “living” foods.
MET Food & Wine Master and Wife Pen Chianti Tome
William Nesto—a senior lecturer in MET’s Food & Wine program and one of only 312 certified Masters of Wine in the world—has co-authored a new book with his wife, Frances Di Savino, which celebrates the history of the modern wine appellation known as Chianti Classico. Their book, “Chianti Classico: The Search for Tuscany's Noblest Wine,” published by University of California Press, is due in stores September 20, 2016, just in time to accompany the Level 1 course for the four-part Wine Studies certificate program in which Nesto is an instructor.
Chef “Egg-splains” Lessons Learned from Julia Child at BU
Iconic chef, author, and television personality Julia Child, who co-founded the Metropolitan College programs in both Culinary Arts and Gastronomy, inspired countless epicures to try their hand at French-style cooking. In the Boston Globe, famed Boston chef and restaurateur Gordon Hamersley (CGS’71, SED’74) recalls being recruited by Child (Hon.’76) to teach a class of BU students the proper technique in preparing the perfect French omelet, making note of her signature, high-energy mentorship techniques.
Read Hamersley’s recollection of Child, and his lesson on that perfect omelet, in the Boston Globe.
Anthropologist, Food & Wine Instructor Dishes on History of Chinese Food in Boston
Many American cities have their own “Chinatown” neighborhoods, but do they also have their own varieties of Chinese food? And how did they come to be?
BU Anthropology Professor Merry White weighed in on the history of Boston’s Chinatown, and the characteristics of regional food, on WBUR—sharing insight into those dishes unique to the Boston area, like Peking ravioli. White, who is also a frequent instructor for MET’s Seminars in Food & Wine, notes that, when it comes to its Asian cuisine, Boston likes it the Hub way. “We are not saying that Boston Chinese is more authentically Chinese—we are saying it is more authentically Boston,” she recently told Lucky Peach.
Tune in to the conversation at Radio Boston.
Chef, Author, and MET Instructor Pierre Thiam Champions Senegalese Delicacies
Chef, restaurateur, and author Pierre Thiam has made a career introducing the world to the flavors of his native Senegal. Thiam, who wrote the first Senegalese cookbook to be published in the English language, recently taught a Metropolitan College Food & Wine seminar in which he demonstrated the deep, multifaceted cuisine and culture of his homeland.
Read a Q&A with Pierre, and learn the Senegalese meaning of hospitality, in the Boston Globe.
Food & Wine Lecturer Offers Insight into the Military Preparation of Civilian Food
Anastacia Marx de Salcedo, author of Combat-Ready Kitchen: How the U.S. Military Shapes the Way You Eat, will discuss those same topics explored in her book as part of the MET Programs in Food & Wine Pépin Lecture Series. The free seminar on Wednesday, March 16, will examine how those traits most prized in soldier sustenance—imperishability, durability, affordability, and appeal to a broad range of palates—have ended up dominating our grocery store shelves and refrigerator cases, often to the detriment of consumer health.
Visit NPR’s The Salt to read a Q&A with Ms. Marx de Salcedo.
Culinary Arts Alum, Instructor Dishes on the Science behind the Perfect Mac & Cheese
The secret behind your favorite macaroni and cheese dish lies not only in its craft—but its chemistry.
Culinary scientist Valerie Ryan, who teaches the science of food and cooking as part of the MET’s Gastronomy program, believes that the most essential tool in preparing a perfect pairing of pasta and dairy is an understanding of the components’ chemical makeup. In a recent Boston Globe article, Ryan, who earned her master’s in Gastronomy at MET and is also certified in the Culinary Arts, explains the way structural science informs taste and technique.
For more on the science behind the comfort food, read Ryan’s piece in the Globe.
Jacques Pépin Compared Favorably to Statue of Liberty
On the occasion of chef Jacques Pépin’s 80th birthday, recently celebrated by the University as part of MET’s 50th anniversary, the Huffington Post offered a comprehensive retrospective on the career of the man who co-founded the College’s Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy and Certificate in Culinary Arts programs.
A forerunner to the modern world of televised cooking instruction, Pépin views the kitchen as a place not for competition, but for appreciation—and it is that spirit which earned the chef a spot as one of America’s most cherished French imports.
Read the Huffington Post’s appreciation of Jacques Pépin, who they call “the single greatest cooking instructor in the history of food television,” for more on his life, lessons, words, and works.
Learn to Cook Christmas Quail from Food & Wine Alums
The holiday season can be cumbersome enough without making a four-hour commitment to cook a Christmas goose. MET Culinary Arts alums Jakob and Fernanda White, the chefs who co-own the Comedor restaurant in Newton, have an alternative avian solution, and in a new video hosted by BU Today, the pair gives instruction on how to prepare a more manageable, modestly portioned bird—the quail.
Check out the instructional cooking video and download the recipe at BU Today.
French Chef’s Belief in Uniting Power of Food Rings Truer Following Tragedy
The recent tragedy in Paris gave an even greater poignancy to the words delivered last month by legendary French chef Jacques Pépin during the celebration of MET’s 50th anniversary and Pépin’s 80th birthday, according to the MetroWest Daily News. Food “knows no political boundaries,” the Gastronomy and Food & Wine programs co-founder Pépin observed ahead of the terror attacks that brought solemn unity across the world. “Relationships, that’s what food is all about,” he said.
Read more about Pépin’s address during the MET 50th anniversary event at the MetroWest Daily News »
MET Culinary Couple’s Labor Bears Fruit with Comedor
Expert pairings are nothing new around the MET’s Food & Wine program, but the success of one local enterprise takes the practice to another level.
Newton’s Comedor is an acclaimed Chilean-American tapas-style restaurant run by 2009 Culinary Arts Certificate alums Jakob and Fernanda White, partners in business and marriage. Veterans of the local restaurant scene, the two opened their Union Street eatery last October, but Fernanda traces the culinary couple’s good fortune to the start they got during their time at Metropolitan College. “After that I went to work at restaurants and never looked back,” she says.
Read more about Comedor and the Whites at BU Today
Globe Recognizes Award-Winning Chef Jacques Pépin Ahead of MET 50 Gala
Three decades ago, acclaimed chef, author, and television personality Jacques Pépin was joined by Julia Child in founding the Boston University Metropolitan College’s master’s program in gastronomy and certificate program in the culinary arts, giving generations’ of prospective hospitality professionals a proven path to career success.
The time has come to return the favor.
This Monday, Nov. 2, on the occasion of both Chef Pépin’s 80th birthday and the Metropolitan College’s 50th anniversary, BU will host A Toast to Innovation, an evening dedicated to celebrating Pépin and the joys of spirits and cuisine. With meals and drinks presented by the finest in the field, amateur foodies and hospitality pros alike will not want to miss this opportunity to spend a night with the food and beverage industry’s crème de la crème .
Read more about Monday’s celebration of Jacques Pépin’s birthday and MET’s 50th anniversary in the Boston Globe.
Best Newspaper Food Coverage
The Boston Globe Food Section staff—led by former Globe Food Editor Sheryl Julian—won first place for Best Newspaper Food Coverage, awarded at the annual Association of Food Journalists conference in St. Petersburg, Fla. Julian serves as an instructor in MET’s Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts and Programs in Food & Wine—and has helped launch the food writing careers of many students from the College’s culinary arts and gastronomy programs.
Fittingly, Chef Pépin takes inaugural Julia Child Award
As public television co-hosts, cookbook co-authors—and co-founders of MET’s master’s program in gastronomy and certificate program in the culinary arts—the names Jacques Pépin (Hon.’11) and Julia Child (Hon.’76) will be forever linked. How appropriate, then, that Chef Pépin be named the first recipient of the award named for his long-time friend and colleague by the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.
Pépin Shares Recipe for Fulfillment
Jacques Pépin began cooking as a child, helping out at his parents’ restaurant in Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon, France. He had a gift, and he braised and sautéed his way to the position of personal chef to three French presidents, among them Charles de Gaulle. But Pépin (Hon.’11) dreamed of success in America, where he arrived to learn English in 1959 and never left.
Read more on BU Today.
Food and Wine Instructor Maiden Wins Top Culinary Award
Barry Maiden, food and wine instructor for Metropolitan College, received the coveted James Beard Foundation Award as Best Chef: Northeast for 2015. The ceremony took place in Chicago on May 4. Maiden is chef/proprietor of the Hungry Mother (for which he won the award) and State Park restaurants, both in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. Specializing in Southern-inspired cuisine, he is a frequent contributor to MET’s Seminars in Food & Wine series.
Some Well-Deserved Press for Chef Pépin
“Eleven white-aproned Metropolitan College Culinary Arts students wearing red BU hats pass pastry-laden trays into industrial ovens as world-renowned chef, cookbook author, and television host Jacques Pépin moves purposefully and confidently through the kitchen.” Focusing on his recent “On Cooking and Painting” events, a recent Daily Free Press article and MET Gastronomy Blog post pay tribute to the co-founder and spiritual leader of MET’s Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy and Certificate Program in Culinary Arts. Chef Pépin is the featured speaker at this year’s Metropolitan College Convocation Ceremony, May 16.
MET's Woods Defends ‘Misunderstood’ Rosé
According to MET Food & Wine Instructor Stacy Woods, a Certified Wine Educator, there’s far more to selecting rosé wines than meets the eye. In fact, in her recent Worcester Telegram article, she and several local wine experts explain why this may be “one of the most underrated and misunderstood wine styles in the world”—and worth keeping in the rotation, any time of year.
BU Culinary Arts Program Ranked Tops in Northeast
With its Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts, MET took the #1 spot in Food Drink & Franchise magazine’s rankings of “Top 10 Culinary Arts Schools in the Northeast.” As editor Sasha Orman explains, “If your aim is to go far in your industry, you want to learn directly from professionals who have made it to the top of their career themselves. Boston University’s culinary arts certificate program strives to offer its students that experience.”
What We're Really Eating At Breakfast Now
Food guidelines are changing. So is what we eat for breakfast. Cereal? Out of favor. Eggs? Maybe OK. And all kinds of new menus. We’ll look at Americans and breakfast. Professor Merry White joins the discussion to offer her unique perspective.
Potter Palmer on Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Testing
Potter Palmer, director of MET’s Food & Wine, provides expert insight in the recent Boston Globe article, “Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Tester Has Clout.” He explains that while building a system for taste-testing coffee and other foods and beverages isn’t difficult, subjectivity can be a challenge. “The science of taste is complex and is influenced by genetics as well as aspects like mood,” says Dr. Potter.
BU’s Own Potter Palmer Named Food & Wine Director
Potter Palmer, formerly a lecturer in MET’s Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) in Gastronomy Program, has been appointed director of Food & Wine. But his Boston University roots run even deeper: he’s a graduate of both the MLA program and our own Certificate Program in Culinary Arts.
As Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Lou Chitkushev points out, Dr. Palmer’s blend of technological, educational, and culinary skills makes him well suited “for exploring new directions and digital learning opportunities for these acclaimed BU programs, and for bringing them to the next level.“
Gastronomy Professor Merry White on Ogawa Coffee in Boston
On October 24, 2014, the Boston Globe reported that Japanese coffee chain Ogawa Coffee will be making its debut in Boston. In the article, College of Arts & Sciences Professor of Anthropology Merry White explains, “There is a real Boston coffee scene now. It wasn’t true 20 years ago.” Professor White, who teaches in MET’s Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy program, is author of the book Coffee Life in Japan (University of California Press: 2012). White notes that Ogawa’s debut in Boston is significant because no other Japanese coffee chain has ever opened in the U.S.
Note-by-Note Cooking—Dr. Hervé This speaks at BU on Friday, October 24
French author and physical chemist Hervé This was one of the key figures in the development of molecular gastronomy in the 1990s. On Friday, October 24, at 6 p.m., Dr. This will be joining Boston University’s Programs in Food & Wine to discuss his provocative vision in culinary innovation: note-by-note cooking. In a review of his newest book, Note-by-Note Cooking: The Future of Food (Columbia University Press, 2014), Gourmet observes that “Hervé This is changing the way France—and the world—cooks.”
Building upon Dr. This’ pioneering work in molecular gastronomy, note-by-note cooking consists of composing sauces, beverages, and meals using pure molecular compounds—with profound implications for the kitchen and beyond. In freeing us from the limits imposed by animal and plant tissues, note-by-note cooking encourages experimentation, opens up cuisine to new forms of art and scientific exploration, and brings new solutions to the problem of feeding humankind in a sustainable manner.
Culinary Arts Alumni Open “Comedor” in Newton
As reported in the Boston Globe, Jakob and Fernanda White have recently opened their Chilean-American restaurant, Comedor, in Newton. The couple met at Boston University in 2008 while completing the Certificate Program in Culinary Arts. Fernanda earned her Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy at MET in 2009, and also pursued the certificates in Wine Studies.
For more information on the culinary team, please visit the restaurant website.
Stirring up a New Generation of Globe Food and Wine Correspondents
Beth Wittenstein, a student in the Gastronomy master’s degree program at MET and a correspondent for the Boston Globe, authored the September 9, 2014, article “Doughnut hybrids storm into Chicago.” Wittenstein is one of many students and alumni of MET’s Gastronomy and Culinary Arts programs who were featured in the September 9 Food and Wine section of the Globe. All studied with Gastronomy faculty member, mentor, and Globe Food Editor Sheryl Julian.
The definitive English-language book on Sicilian Wine
MET Wine Studies instructor and Master of Wine Bill Nesto coauthored The World of Sicilian Wine (UC Press, March 2013) with his wife Frances Di Savino. The book has received many positive reviews, including a recent one in the quarterly The World of Fine Wine (issue 43), which calls it an “impressively scholarly new book.” The review asserts that “the sheer weight of historical, geographical, and viticultural information is enough to make this the definitive English-language book on the island’s wines.
Master of Wine Sandy Block, instructor in MET’s Wine Studies program, was quoted in “Manischewitz: The Great Story of a Not-So-Great Wine,” a story that appeared in Modern Farmer. “The style was created in the early part of the period of heavy Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe to East Coast cities, especially New York,” says Block.
Culinary Legend Jacques Pépin Prepares for Final TV Series
Jacques Pépin, cofounder with Julia Child of MET’s Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts and MLA in Gastronomy, recently discussed his last scheduled cooking series (the 26-episode Jacques Pépin: Heart and Soul, scheduled to air in October 2015 on KQED Public Television), and his plans for the future as he turns 80. In the News Tribune article, Pépin stresses that he does not plan to retire. “Julia never retired,” he commented. He does, however, intend to continue demonstrating his famed culinary techniques for students at MET.
Kitchen Fashion with Lisa Falso
Apron enthusiast Lisa Falso, who is supervisor of culinary arts programs at MET, was quoted in the Boston Globe article, “Aprons inspire a jump-start in the kitchen.” Falso—who has a growing collection of more than forty aprons—says: “I’ve always loved fashion and there’s not much you can do for fashion in the culinary world.”
Professor Merry White Quoted in Film Review
Professor of Anthropology Merry White, who also lectures in MET’s Seminars in Food & Wine, was quoted in the Boston Globe film review, “Clash of culinary cultures in The Hundred-Foot Journey.” White—along with another anthropologist, a French chef, a French-born university lecturer, a Francophile, and an Indian-American artist—was invited to critique the film’s depiction of the cultural and culinary clash between French and Indian restaurateurs in a French village.
MET: Revolutionizing Boston’s Wine Industry
Metropolitan College’s Wine Studies Program was credited for producing “many of the region’s leading wine trade experts and professionals” in Scott Saunders’ article for Meininger’s Wine Business International, “Wine market to watch: Boston.” Quoted in the article are Wine Studies instructor and Master of Wine Bill Nesto, along with former students of the program.
Merry White Remembers Chef Lucien Robert
Merry White, CAS professor of anthropology and instructor in MET’s Lifelong Learning and Experiential Programs in Food & Wine, penned an article in the Boston Globe commemorating the legacy of renowned Boston chef and restaurateur Lucien Robert, who passed away February 20. Read More.
Sandy Block on Why Restaurant Wine Sales are Slow—and How They can Recover
At a recent conference, Masters of Wine and Vice President of Beverage Operations at Legal Sea Food Sandy Block revealed insights into why on-premises wine sales have fallen. “Customers don’t just want to eat and drink; they want to be entertained,” he said. “And cocktails and draft beer are more entertaining to them than wine.”
In order for wineries to lure millennial patrons, Block offered this advice: “You need to better communicate that wine is authentic. It comes from the earth, is natural, and has human connections. You need to convey what’s behind the drink to the wait staff. Wineries need to tell their stories. Don’t talk about technology.” Block also revealed which wines are doing better than others; for instance Sauvignon Blanc sales are up 33%. Read more here.
Ask a Boston Sommelier
Sandy Block—one of only 279 Masters of Wine worldwide—is Boston-based. He is Vice President of Beverage Operations at Legal Sea Foods and sits on the Executive Board at the Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center where he developed (and still teaches) BU’s curriculum for the highly regarded Certificate Program in Wine Studies. After 30 years in this market, he knows a lot about local wining and dining. Read more about what this sommelier had to say on CBS Boston.
Boston Globe Highlights Culinary Arts Program 25th Anniversary Dinner
MET’s Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts—founded by Julia Child and Jacques Pépin—celebrated its 25th anniversary on Tuesday, March 25. For the event, some of the program’s chef-instructors—including Chris Douglass, Jeffrey Fournier, Michael Leviton, Barry Maiden, Janine Sciarappa, Jeremy Sewall, and John Vhynanek—recreated their favorite recipes.
Read the Globe article.
MET Master of Wine Wins Book Award
On March 26, a book authored by Master of Wine Bill Nesto, an instructor in MET’s Wine Studies Program, and his wife Frances di Savino, won an André Simon Food and Drink Book Award. The book, The World of Sicilian Wine, was published by the University of California Press in 2013.
Christine Merlo Dishes up French Cuisine for Winterfest
This year’s Winterfest featured MET’s Christine Merlo, who teaches Cooking Up Culture classes for teens and kids. This past Saturday, Merlo demonstrated how to dish up French classics at home to an audience of fifty parents and kids.
Saturday’s demonstration menu featured hearty favorites such as croque monsieur and madame sandwiches, classic coq au vin, and a sweet ending featuring pastry cream puffs topped with chocolate ganache.
Click here to see Merlo in action on BU Today…