Boston University will award Metropolitan College (MET) culinary instructor Jacques Pépin an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at commencement exercises on May 21, 2011. The acclaimed chef, author, and television personality is being recognized for his contributions to the University, including his role as co-founder (with Julia Child) of the MET master’s program in gastronomy and the certificate program in the culinary arts, which established the tradition of integrating hands-on culinary experience with the serious academic study of cuisine in society. Pépin, who has been a part-time faculty member at MET since 1983, has taught hundreds of Boston University students. He has additionally drawn over ten thousand residents of greater Boston to the University by hosting informal seminars, demonstrations, discussions, and special cooking events through MET’s Lifelong Learning programs. In 2005, MET honored Pépin with the Roger Deveau Memorial Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award.
Rebecca Alssid, director of Lifelong Learning at MET, says longtime friend and colleague Pépin “epitomizes the best of what a teacher, an artist, and humanist ought to be. He is recognized throughout the world for his culinary skill, his warmth of spirit, and his generosity as an educator and a person.”
Pépin’s career began with his exposure to cooking as a child in his parents’ restaurant, Le Pélican, in Bourg-en-Bresse, France. His training includes a formal apprenticeship at the distinguished Grand Hôtel de l’Europe and training under Lucien Diat at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris. Pépin served as personal chef to three French heads of State; honors conferred by the government of France include Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Chevalier de L’Ordre du Mérite Agricole, and in 2004, the National Order of the Legion of Honour. He earned his master’s degree in eighteenth-century French literature from Columbia University.
Pépin’s involvement with MET and BU reflects his accomplished background and his enduring commitment to culinary education. In addition to his many contributions to newspapers and magazines, Pépin has published twenty-six books and hosted eleven public television series, including the recent Jacques Pépin: More Fast Food My Way, which is the companion piece to the book of the same title.
Pépin has established a teaching legacy at MET that approaches cuisine from a perspective in which creativity is enabled by skillfulness, and intellectual curiosity is enabled by practicality. Under his guidance, MET’s gastronomy degree and culinary arts certificate have developed into highly regarded academic and professional credentials.
In response to BU’s announcement of the award, Pépin remarked: “It is a great honor and I am humbled, gratified, and very happy. It validates the work of chefs and the importance of cooking, dining, and sharing food with family and friends. Julia would be very proud.”
Today’s BU Today features a MET Urban Affairs course that utilizes the show, “The Wire”. Though this series has been integrated into courses at many universities, we are among the few that has done so in a planning and urban affairs program. This course is innovative not only because of its use of this television series, but in learning how media shape mainstream opinion about cities, race, class, crime, and other urban issues. Several MET students and MET’s instructor, Don Gillis, are quoted in this piece.
Elizabeth Bouhmadouche (MET’99), registrar and director of enrollment services at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, is a 2011 recipient of the University’s John S. Perkins Distinguished Service Award. This honor is given to staff members at Boston University who go above and beyond and set a new standard for passion and professionalism in their positions. Bouhmadouche’s attention to detail and love of her job has made her an indispensable part of the School of Dental Medicine.
The Perkins Award was also given to Susan Tomassetti, assistant to Associate Provost Douglas Sears, and Kenneth Douglass, senior associate director of the Office of Residential Life.
BU Today is featuring an article on the important role of interpreters in our society. Highlighted in the article is the Center for Professional Education’s Community, Legal, and Medical Interpreting programs. These programs prepare the next generation of interpreters to increase the effectiveness of communications in the areas they work.
One year ago today, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake leveled much of Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti. In a video featured on BU Today, Metropolitan College Professor Enrique Silva, who was part of the first BU group and has since returned to Haiti three times, talks about the work yet to be done.
The on-campus residency of CFA’s online Masters in Art Education students are featured in an article and video on BU Today. This article, and especially in the video below, capture the virtual community we create online for professionals and the value of bringing them together on-campus.
To Fabien Cousteau, a grandson of the undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau, the scene off the shores of Pensacola, Fla., was painful to behold: tar balls on a deserted beach, an oily sheen on the ocean’s surface, the result of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. “I’m sure the general public feels that same pain,” says Cousteau (CGS’89, MET’91), an environmental advocate and an ocean explorer, who has been diving since he was four years old.
MET alum Duane Jackson continues to thrive on the media attention he’s been receiving—he’s everywhere, and even in today’sBU Today. Though he is referred to as a “street vendor” in many of the articles and videos, he is also quite a successful entrepreneur.
MET’s Kevin Madden (along with a 59-pound lamb) is profiled in today’s BU Today’s “One Job” feature article and slide show. Others, such as Rebecca Alssid, are quoted as well, and mention is made of our various programs in food studies.