Welcome New Gastronomy and Food Studies Students for Fall 2020 (part 2)

We look forward to welcoming a wonderful new group of students in our fall 2021 classes, and hope you will enjoy getting to know a few of them here.

painting of tomatoes on a table
“Our Kitchen Bouquet” from Louis Prang & Company Chromolithographs, collection, Boston Public Library

After living in several regions of the United States, Anne Howard settled in the great food town of Chicago upon graduating from Northwestern University. Her professional background includes time in marketing and advertising, where she learned not to copy-edit restaurant menus right before lunch. She spent several years reading resumes as a communications recruiter and enjoyed a side gig as a restaurant mystery shopper, the closest she’ll ever come to being a food critic. A chance meeting with an alum of the Gastronomy program led her to begin taking classes remotely, and she’s thrilled to now be officially enrolled in the program.

Raising two school-age children has caused Anne to think a great deal about food, and how the foods of our childhood affect us our entire lives. She’s interested in all things connected to food and kids: school lunches, food allergies, nutrition, marketing, the development of taste, etc. She’s also inordinately excited whenever she manages to grow something edible in her small, shaded urban garden.

Erica Conte joins the Food Studies program from Chicago, Illinois where she has lived for the past 5 years. Prior to Chicago, Erica lived in New York and is originally from New Jersey.

Erica spent the first part of her career in advertising but had an itch for something more. It wasn’t until she began working at a foodservice research and consulting firm that she started to examine her own relationship with food as well as the deep complexities around food systems. Erica always loved food and continues to test her spice tolerance regularly, but it wasn’t until this role that she became curious about how food made her feel, how food is labeled, or marketed.

Erica works with restaurants and food manufacturers that are looking for insights to help move their business forward in a dynamic and intricate industry. Having been in this industry for 4 years, Erica has become passionate about food policy, sustainability, and creating an equitable food system. On a pursuit to dive deeper into this field, she learned about the Food Studies program and is thrilled to get started in the fall. Erica looks forward to strengthening her knowledge in an area that has become an increasingly large part of her professional and personal life.

Edith Dimas was raised by Mexican immigrants in the southwest side of Chicago.  She spent most of her childhood weekends watching her mother cook while hearing her mother tell stories of her childhood in rural Mexico. Edith would spend her summer vacations watching PBS cooking shows, writing down recipes, and cooking for her family.
Having received a Sociology degree from Roosevelt University, Edith pursued working in non-profits and doing community work. While she enjoyed working with the community, her passion for food was rekindled when she and a group of co-workers decided to start a community garden. She tended the garden every day and enjoyed learning about the veggies and plants that blossomed in the garden.

With her reawakened love for food, Edith has since been working in a food bank, allowing her to work with food and do community work. Edith is enthusiastic about being part of the Gastronomy program. She hopes to learn and research the history of Mexican and indigenous cuisines.

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