Triple Helping of Culinary Classes Bring Pépin Lecture Series Online

With his pivotal role in the launch and development of BU MET’s MLA in Gastronomy and Certificate in the Culinary Arts programs, legendary chef Jacques Pépin helped Boston University pioneer scholarly pursuits of the human science of food in the United States.

Through the Pépin Lecture Series in Food Studies & Gastronomy, BU MET provides you with the complimentary opportunity to enjoy the fabled chef’s legacy via lectures and lessons led by world-renowned chefs and culinary innovators. This year, lectures are being made available online for the first time.

“Bringing in scholars who are working on food in an academic way is to fulfill that dream of Jacques Pépin,” Dr. Megan Elias, BU MET director of gastronomy, told BU Today.

This season’s sessions include:

  • Halal Food: A History (Friday, November 13)

Febe Armanios and Bogac Ergene lead an introduction to halal, or, “permissible,” food in the Islamic tradition, exploring what halal food means to Muslims and how its legal and cultural interpretations have changed in different geographies up to the present day.

With her new book, food historian Zella Palmer provides readers with a glimpse into the rich food culture of African-Americans in New Orleans via a compilation of over eighty years of international and indigenous New Orleans Creole recipes.

Palmer serves as director of the Ray Charles Program in African-American Material Culture at Dillard University, one of New Orleans’s historically black colleges and universities, and one that is central to the history of the Civil Rights Movement, education, and the cultural identity of the city. Her new tome matches rich history of the university and region with recipes collected from the community, friends of the university, campus faculty, staff, and students.

Sign up.

Part of what makes cooking food a uniquely human endeavor is the role played by our progressive technology, from the ability to control fire to our scientific understanding of what happens at a molecular level when we apply heat to food. Food scientist Guy Crosby offers a tour of the history and science behind the art of cooking, with a focus on achieving a healthy daily diet. He traces the evolution of cooking from its earliest origins, recounting the innovations that have unraveled the mysteries of health and taste.

Sign up.

The global pandemic has brought new heights in social isolation, which is why Dr. Potter Palmer, MET director of Food & Wine Programs, told BU Today he thinks it’s “crucial to keep people connected through a shared love of food.”

With these online sessions, everyone can feed their material and intellectual appetites.

“One’s enjoyment in preparing or eating a dish is only enhanced by knowing the history and culture behind it,” Dr. Palmer said. “The Pépin Lecture Series provides an opportunity to experience both.”

Read more in BU Today.