We hope you will enjoy getting to know some of the new students who are joining the Gastronomy and Food Studies program this spring.
Amy Johnson‘s childhood can best be defined by Lunchables, Pop Tarts and Velveeta Cheese. It was only after she was accepted to the BU Gastronomy Program that she would learn she’s the daughter of a member of The Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an internationally-recognized Food & Wine Gastronomic Society (she now likes to joke that she joined the family business).
In addition to her love of food, Amy’s passions lie in intellectual storytellings of history and culture. This interest would be the driving force for her pursuits in college, completing dual degrees in Journalism and Anthropology at the University of Arizona. Never considering food as academic exploration until she spent a year in France, Amy discovered how important food studies is in understanding the complexities of culture. Upon her return to the States, a series of very fortunate events would lead her to designate food as her main focus. Living in Tucson, a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, proposed additional courses in food anthropology that she could pursue. A position as a food writer and photographer for a local publication allowed her to connect with the Mexican-American and Native American communities that surrounded her.
Knowing culture isn’t just reserved to food, Amy also hopes to receive designations through the Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center.
Amy lays claim to six cities, four states, and two countries, but is finally ready to plant her roots in the city of Boston. She has been eyeing the BU Gastronomy program for the past six years, and is thrilled to now be part of this captivating community of food enthusiasts.
Kris Kaktins obtained a BS in criminal justice at the University of Delaware and a MS in criminal justice at Northeastern University, selecting the field simply because she enjoyed learning about it. She then stumbled into a career within the financial services industry where she remains sixteen years later. Never having a “dream” occupation and facing serious burnout in her current work, in 2018 she engaged a career coach. While the endeavor did not translate into to a new career (as of yet), a confession to the coach about her love of cheese led her to Boston University’s Cheese Studies Certificate. Cooking food, eating food, shopping for food, and reading about food, recipes, and cookbooks have always brought Kris excitement, but this course quite possibly re-engineered her brain’s definition of bliss. The next exploration was Wine Studies Level 1. At the end of 2019 she applied to BU’s Certificate in Food Studies. Kris hopes to make this study of food an opportunity that revitalizes her and perhaps even births a new journey. Kris lives in the suburbs of Massachusetts with her husband, four-year-old son, and slightly neurotic dog. They garden, tend to a variety of fruit trees, and in the spring are foraying into beekeeping.