Programs in Food & Wine

Boston University’s Programs in Food & Wine offer non-credit certificates in the culinary arts, wine studies, and cheese studies. We also offer professional studies in beer and spirits, food photography, and winemaking, in addition to tastings and demonstrations, hands-on cooking classes for adults, and Cooking Up Culture, a cooking program for children and teens. Students pursuing the MLA in Gastronomy may take the culinary arts, wine studies, and cheese studies courses for academic credit.

Culinary Arts

Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts

In the spring of 1989, Boston University held the first class in the Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts. Spearheaded by Rebecca Alssid, Julia Child, and Jacques Pépin, this intensive, semester-long program was developed to expose students to classic French and American techniques, baking, international cuisines, sustainability, and many more subjects. The unique program merges the best aspects of traditional culinary arts study with the hands-on tutelage of a wide range of chefs—augmented by insight into the food industry as a whole. This model allows students to enter a wide variety of jobs related to food as well as continue their education in the Gastronomy master’s program.

The only one of its kind in the country, Boston University’s full-time culinary arts program—entering its third decade—is taught entirely by working chefs and experts in the food industry.

The goals of this program are to:

  • Expose dedicated culinary students of all ages to the best professional chefs and teachers in the world of cooking
  • Train students in the basic classical and modern techniques and theories of food production
  • Introduce students to various cultures through their cuisines

Core Chefs: Jacques Pépin, Cara Chigazola-Tobin, Chris Douglass, Michael Leviton, Barry Maiden, Kevin O’Donnell, Janine Sciarappa, and Jeremy Sewall

Visiting Chefs and Instructors: Jim Dodge, Chris Fisher, Deborah Hansen, William Kovel, Michele Carter, and many others

Only 12 students are admitted per semester. Upon successful completion, students receive a Certificate in the Culinary Arts from Boston University. Students in the MLA in Gastronomy program may also earn 8 credits toward their degree.

Beverage Studies Programs

Offered through the Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center

The Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center was established in 1996 to promote the development of educational programs exploring all aspects of wine, including viticulture; enology; wine making; wine history; economics; distribution and marketing; pairing with food; and the psychological, physiological, and cultural phenomena of wine consumption. The Center also covers programs in beer and spirits.

Certificates in Wine Studies

The four-level Wine Studies curriculum at BU’s Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center is open to industry professionals seeking deeper expertise, students who want to explore wine in the broader cultural context of food and cuisine, and people who wish to enter the wine trade. A certificate in Wine Studies is achieved upon successful completion of each level. These courses may be taken for credit toward the MLA in Gastronomy.

  • Level 1: Fundamentals of Wine—An Introduction
  • Level 2: A Comprehensive Survey of Wine
  • Level 3: Mastering Wine—Skill Development
  • Level 4: The Wine Trade—Global, National, and Local Perspectives

Studies in Beer and Spirits

This class covers the history, production techniques, and classifications of all the major beer and spirits categories. Students taste, and become thoroughly familiarized with, the differences among beers and spirits, learn about the ingredients that create these standard beverages, and discuss trends in the beer and spirits industries. This class is taught by Sandy Block, one of only two Masters of Wine in New England, and VP of beverage at Legal Sea Foods, where he oversees the company’s wine, spirits, and beer program.

Introduction to Wine Making

This hands-on course is designed to teach students how to make quality artisanal wines for home use, and will also serve as a basis for those who wish to pursue subsequent enological studies. Lectures will provide students with a theoretical knowledge necessary to assess harvesting parameters, process and vinify grapes, and to mature, chemically analyze, stabilize, bottle, and label the resulting wine. Students will make wine in collaboration with instructors.

Seminars in Food & Wine

Tastings and Demonstrations

Each semester, experts in the fields of food and wine studies come to BU to exhibit their talents and teach you how to expand your knowledge of food, wine, beer, and other spirits. These assembled culinary and wine luminaries share the benefit of their knowledge, educating palates and offering the discovery of new pleasures. Past events have featured Jacques Pépin, Joanne Chang, Mary Ann Esposito, Chris Fischer, Maura Kilpatrick, Barbara Lynch, Stella Parks, Steven Raichlen, David Tanis, and many others.

Pépin Lecture Series in Food Studies and Gastronomy

Academic in nature and delivered by experts in the fields of food studies and gastronomy, these lectures are open to the public, students, faculty, and staff.

Hands-On Cooking for Adults

These hands-on cooking classes provide students with the opportunity to work closely with renowned chefs in our professional-grade kitchen. Students work in small groups under the guidance of the visiting chef to execute recipes from start to finish, and conclude by sharing the meal they have just prepared.

Cooking Up Culture for Kids and Teens

Cooking Up Culture is a program for children and young adults designed to explore cultures through their cuisines. Classes include cooking demonstrations for school groups of up to 60 children, as well as smaller, hands-on classes in which students prepare signature foods from specific regions or cultures from around the world. These programs are offered year round.

Kids’ Summer Cooking Program

Kids who enjoy time in the kitchen will love this week-long class exploring the world’s most beloved cuisines. Students will begin with kitchen basics and French techniques before cooking their way through the world. Each day will wrap with a delicious lunch prepared by the class. Young cooks will learn basics in kitchen safety, proper food handling, food preparation, cooking and baking techniques, presentation, and understanding recipes—valuable culinary skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.

Special Events

There is always something unique in store, whether it is an upcoming conference or gala, a special class for children, or a neighborhood culinary tour.

Customized Food and Wine Events

Customized food and wine events include private, hands-on cooking and baking classes, wine classes, or demonstrations with some of the finest chefs. Our state-of-the-art kitchen can accommodate small groups for hands-on classes, or up to 60 for demonstrations.

Professional Certificate Programs

Certificate in Cheese Studies

This in-depth exploration of cheese varieties and production will look at an international array of cheeses from their beginnings on the farm to the finished product. Students learn the traditional method of cheese-making and the influences that affect the final product, including species and breed, feed, milking cycle, culture and rennet, aging, and ripening. Each class features multiple cheese tastings, paired with wine and artisanal condiments. The class includes a visit to a farm to study the cheese-making process firsthand. After successful completion of the course and final exam, students receive a Certificate in Cheese Studies from Boston University. This course may be taken for credit toward the MLA in Gastronomy.

ServSafe Certification

Food service professionals seeking to make a commitment to promoting food safety can do so with this course of study, which covers all aspects of food safety: handling, storing, preparing, and serving. Sponsored by the National Restaurant Association, students who pass the ServSafe exam in this class will be certified by ServSafe in food safety.