Fall 2018

Jennifer Nadeau grew up in Central Massachusetts before moving to the western part of the state for college. She earned a BA in Anthropology with a focus on biological anthropology and food from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2014.  As a child, Jennifer frequently spent time with people from the community that had unique food habits and paths and in turn- taught her to love and crave as many novel foods as she could possibly consume.

Jennifer’s interests have taken her through Dixie and Gulf states as she studied how country music, delta blues, and Southern foodways were and still are entwined. She is particularly interested in specific regional variations of foods such as tamales, pizza, and barbeque – and she maximizes her exposure by going broke traveling around the country and using most of her paychecks on food experiments in her home. Her next mission is to examine the shift in policy as recreational marijuana is legalized and monetized. Navigating the underground edible marijuana sessions in the western part of the state, Jennifer is hoping to shed insight on the policy, growth, improvement, and innovation surrounding the types of foods that producers infuse with marijuana.

Carol Waldo came to Boston by way of Chicago, Kansas City, and California. She obtained a BA in Chemistry at North Central College.  Her post college career began in the microbiology and analytical chemistry labs in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Currently, she is responsible for communications with regulatory health authorities and supporting development programs with the aim of bringing new drugs to patients. Throughout her professional career, she has spent her personal time exploring food, wine, and travel.  She has taken numerous cooking classes at the Institute for Culinary Education and boot camps at the Culinary Institute of America.  She spent a week in a private home near Tlaxcala, Mexico, immersed in Mexican cuisine and culture.  She has traveled extensively and likes to incorporate regional cultural and cooking experiences with hiking and biking.  She has taken wine studies classes at BU and has visited wine regions around the world.

For Carol, the process of curiosity leading to discovery and learning is exhilarating. The cultural context of the ingredients is as important to her as the technique involved in making the dishes.  Purposefully combining ingredients for a balanced, flavorful meal paired with wine is deeply satisfying. Traveling and cooking regional dishes with local chefs, purchasing ingredients in local markets is insightful, humbling, and energizing.  She hopes to deepen these insights with additional study and travel.

Carol has realized what it feels like to follow her curiosity and passion.  She believes that experiences and knowledge gained through the Gastronomy program will help shape her path forward.

Hannah Spiegelman grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico in a very food-centric household, where cooking was a fun and exciting activity. While in high school, Hannah started baking as a way to release creative energy. She loved experimenting with out-there flavor combinations.  But told by her Grandfather that studying food wasn’t a real education, Hannah followed his path and majored in history at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Still, she always made sure incorporated either food or art into her class projects.

Ashley Belmer is a native Bostonian who grew up in the lovely town of Roslindale. For her undergraduate degree, she decided to relocate to Atlanta, GA where she earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature and African Studies in 2013. As a child, she would always nag her dad to help him prepare his epic Sunday dinner that could literally feed an army. Over time, her passion for food began to grow from helping to prepare dinner, school lunches, baking masterpieces, starting a food blog, and now enrolling in BU’s Gastronomy program.

Currently Ashley works as a Digital Marketer in higher education. This allows her creativity to flow and explore the ever evolving digital space. Through this gastronomy program, she hopes to began her journey in becoming a food authority.

Lauren Kirincic was born and raised on Long Island, New York. In May 2017, Lauren received a BA in Sociology from Gettysburg College. After graduation, she headed home and began her job search. She worked in a few different industries but could not find anything that she was passionate about. In February 2018, she started working at Further Food, a supplement company, as their social media associate. This job made her realize that it was food that she LOVED!  Upon this realization, she wanted to learn more about the food world!  She has a passion for food, travel and writing. She has always loved travel and after studying abroad in Florence she was even more eager to eat her way across the globe! With a Master’s in Gastronomy, she hopes to be able to create a career that can turn her dream into a reality!

Sarah Hartwig is a transplant to Boston from Kansas City, where she was born and raised. Before joining the Gastronomy program, she was an Americorps VISTA at the Wyandotte County Health Department for almost two years, where she worked on food access and other food system issues. She worked on all kinds of projects from coordinating activities for a summer meal program food truck, to working with the Board of Commissioners and Planning Department to update a mobile vending ordinance, to organizing a locally grown dinner for local policymakers and community stakeholders.

From a young age, Sarah has known the importance of food for both person and culture. She is a granddaughter of farmers on one side and of doctors on the other. She spent many summers in Central Kansas surrounded by fields full of corn, soybeans, and wheat only to come home to Kansas City to see hungry people who didn’t know what a tomato looked like.     

She graduated Gonzaga University in 2015 with BAs in Sociology and Classical Civilizations as well as a passion for social justice. She is interested in both food justice and sovereignty work, and is excited to learn more about many of the issues currently affecting the food system.

Carole Sioufi was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. After receiving a BA in Economics from the American University of Beirut, she completed a master’s degree in Management & Strategy at the London School of Economics. Carole then joined the family business – a group of commercial and industrial companies that operate in the chemical industry of the Middle East – and successfully expanded its activities to North Africa and the Gulf countries. While working on her last project in Dubai, she realized that it was time to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a food entrepreneur. Her first stepping stone is the MLA in Gastronomy through which she aims to learn the theory of food, hone her culinary skills, and grasp the role that food plays in our daily lives.

Carole is a passionate cook. Her love for cooking began at the age of thirteen when she was struggling with obesity. Eager to transform her body, she taught herself to cook satiating and delectable meals with a Middle Eastern twist. Not only did she lose a third of her weight, but she also discovered an aspiration to help others eat healthily. Her goal is to find a viable and scalable way to reduce obesity, namely childhood obesity.

Tanya Bouldin is Virginia native who has been in Boston for 4.5 years.  In her 20’s she worked in the bar and restaurant business but moved into technology when the .com boom was happening.  She had a very successful 18-year career in technology which led her to Boston via a job transfer.

Over the past 20 years Tanya’s love of cooking, food and travel have blossomed.  She writes: “I have had many opportunities to experience the culture of food and people by living in numerous states (GA, LA, FL, MO, &CA) and traveling to the EU and Central America.  My passion for food isn’t limited to a particular region or arena.  I have a natural curiosity for all types of cuisine and am always in search of a perfect bite.  I even went so far as to go to Noma in Copenhagen just to have dinner before they closed the flagship location…what an amazing experience.  As much as I enjoy dining out and finding great spots, I feel the most pleasure in cooking with/for friends and family.  I truly feel that we can make deep connections rooted in food and the cultures that surround it.   In August of 2017 I completed my BS in Information Technology and Project Management but didn’t feel the level of engagement that I once had in that industry.  After much introspection, I made the decision to leave that career and ‘jump’ back into the culinary world. It feels like a natural progression to the next phase of my life.  My immediate goal is to learn traditional techniques and explore the various aspects of culinary and it’s ever growing importance in our global world.  Entering the MLA Gastronomy program is going to be an exciting challenge and I can’t wait to begin!”

James Lysons hails from the PacificNorthwest but has worked as a chef in all corners of the country. James grew up in a family where food was a focal point. He has fond memories of standing on a step stool learning the art of cooking an omelet from his mother (who is also an accomplish cook). James began working in kitchens at the age of 16, starting after school as a dishwasher and eventually making his way to prep cook, cook and so on. He received his Bachelors from New England Culinary Institute and has been fortunate enough to work at some great restaurants like Gramercy Tavern in New York, Trio in Chicago and Auberge du Soleil in Napa.

With the changing climate in the food world, James has been inspired to take his experience and knowledge from the kitchen and dedicate himself to educating fellow chefs about the importance of sustainable cooking. James believes that through education, lobbying, and inspiration, the trend of wild ingredients disappearing can be reversed. James is excited to take part in the gastronomy program and believes it will elevate his abilities to advocate for preservation and restoration of the world’s amazing ingredients.

Wiley McCarthy grew up in New Orleans and Georgia before migrating to Massachusetts for high school, college, marriage, and raising children.  After graduating from Harvard in 1983 with a degree in History with Economics, she worked as a textbook editor at Houghton Mifflin, then turned to freelance work with the birth of her first child.  After a long absence from work and school but with a long history of baking and food interests, she began volunteering for organizations targeting food as medicine, food rescue, and charitable food distribution.  With additional interests in food policy, nutrition, and eating disorders (not to mention just plain eating), the Gastronomy program seemed a natural path to pursuing some of those interests on a professional level.

Jared Kaufman grew up around Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has always had an interest in food — when he was 5, his career aspiration was to be a cake decorator; he once dressed up as Emeril Lagasse for Halloween; and in high school, he hosted a food-reviewing YouTube channel that’s now deeply embarrassing to him.

After earning a journalism degree from the University of Missouri in 2018, he now works as a freelance food writer and writes a twice-weekly food newsletter called Nosh Box. He’s interested in how social factors and government policy intersect with — and sometimes clash with — our food culture, and what that crossroads can illuminate about which foods we choose to (or are able to) put on our tables. Jared hopes to bring together the knowledge he gains in the Gastronomy program with his journalism background for a career as a food policy, systems, and culture reporter. He also eats a bagel nearly every morning for breakfast, and should’ve stopped himself before telling you he has a bagel pillow on his bed and a bagel sticker on his water bottle.

Lauren Allen was born and raised in Austin, Texas. Though she spent part of her childhood in Saudi Arabia, she ended up back in Austin at the age of eight. She graduated from the University of Texas with a major in Geography and Religious Studies, and a minor in Philosophy. Shortly after graduating, she took a kitchen position at a restaurant where she was hosting and now has seven years’ experience working as a line cook and chef. In 2013 she traveled in Ireland, volunteering on organic farms and working in kitchens. Inspired by this “farm to table” style cooking, she returned home and started her own pop up dinner series under the name Cloak & Dagger, with menus focusing on local and sustainable ingredients. Cloak & Dagger has been successfully running for the past five years in backyards, out of food trailers, and in various bars/restaurants across Austin. She has experience cooking with insects, but especially loves butchering and charcuterie. She has always had a passion for writing and traveling, and wishes to tie those in with her passion and excitement for food and gastronomy.

Payal Parikh, or Pie, as she tends to goes by is new to Boston. She grew up by the beach in South Jersey where she helped her parents in the kitchen cooking traditional Gujarati Indian foods as well as regionalized New Jersey favorites. Each summer she did what all the local teens did and worked jobs at the beach, Pie always gravitated to food-centric positions. Whether it was working at a restaurant on the marina, a bakery on the boardwalk or a water ice stand, they all played their part as to where she is today. When asked about her nickname (and clarifying the spelling) she is often asked what her favorite type is, she always answers the same – pizza, preferring the savory to sweet.

For her undergraduate studies she attended Villanova University, located outside of Philadelphia, where she earned her B.S. in Business Administration and majored in Management and minored in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. She then spent her next 13 years as an account manager in the telecom industry learning the ins and outs of Fortune 500 companies.

Living in the vibrant food scene of Philadelphia reinvigorated her passion for the culinary arts and food studies. She began researching as many new restaurants and bars in Philadelphia and through her extensive travels as possible when she realized so much could be replicated in her own home and that cooking is a form of traveling. She began hosting dinner parties for her friends and family in her apartment, which was the stepping stone she needed to realize she wanted a career she was passionate about which led her to set forth on applying for her MLA in Gastronomy at BU. She is looking to bridge her business background, love of travel, and passion for food through the program.

Currently, Pie is working at Harpoon Brewery baking delicious pretzels, customizing sauces from scratch and learning about the brewing industry. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, listening to live music and golf.