Welcome New Students, Spring 2022!

We look forward to welcoming a wonderful group of new students into our programs this spring. Enjoy getting to know a few of them here.

Ana Acevedo-Barga Whether brewing fresh coffee, baking up a hot batch of chocolate chip cookies, or serving a 20-course meal, my delight in the experience of dining is everlasting. Food is magic! I have spent the past decade working in the food service industry, sharing my love for delectable cuisine and warming hospitality. My most recent years have been at o ya, a Japanese inspired restaurant in Boston, specializing in weaving flavor and texture into a mouthwatering journey. My work in fine dining has led me here, eager to explore food beyond its relationship to the restaurant industry. I look forward to studying the intersections between agriculture, history, society, economics and food. With my masters I hope to deepen my understanding of these origins of food and food practices in order to better contribute (and hopefully improve) the ever-evolving world of dining and hospitality.

Chad Bradford: Some time ago, I realized that every conversation with me, no matter how it started, somehow ended up being about food. They say they’ve got the latest gadget. The freshest beats. Water on the moon. Gastronomers, you know what I’m thinking. “Great, but will there be pizza?” That’s why I was so excited to find the Gastronomy program at BU and a group of like-minded folks. We get it!

I retired in October 2021, but I am not yet ready to “retire” retire. I have developed an interest in how food affects bodies and spirits and want to learn more about the connections.

You will usually find me somewhere asking for seconds, running long trails, or enjoying work from home tea time with my wife.

Liz Lauren-Oser: I hold a master’s in Liberal Studies. As a teacher I taught my students that History is really just the story of people living in another time and it is a story very much like their own.

I collect cookbooks and recipes, especially (any) family recipes. Family recipes are often the glue that holds people together, binding them to their history. A recipe can perpetuate the warm memory of a beloved relative and can connect one generation to another. The food created from that recipe can offer not just physical saity, but an emotional connection.

I discovered this program after watching a lecture about Victorian Christmases. A food historian was part of the panel and at that moment I realized I could combine my interest in people’s stories and history with my love of cookbooks and recipes. Food and recipes are not just about physical nourishment, but snapshots of history, too. My dream job would be to become a food historian.

In my real life I am a wife, a mom to four adults and grandmother (BeBe) to four of the most remarkable humans I have ever encountered. I garden, take long walks and most of all, cook.

Stephanie Monserrate was born in Puerto Rico. She is a Project Manager and a former French and Portuguese Professor. Her interdisciplinary academic background granted her a bachelor degree in Latin American History with a Minor in Foreign Language Education. Her multiple passions made her pursue a Master Degree in Cultural Agency and Arts Administration. At the present she is interested in the different meanings and representations of food in our daily rituals. And how food fill the silences that we avoid.This new path brings her in to the Master of Arts in Gastronomy Program at Boston University’s Metropolitan College.

Siobhan O’Flaherty, a Boston native, is thrilled to join BU’s Gastronomy program after transferring from NYU. Siobhan’s journey to food studies began at her community garden in Brooklyn. A dedicated member, she fell in love with growing vegetables from seed, cooking her own harvest, and the deep bonds she forged with her community.

Upon returning home during the pandemic, she joined the field crew at Barrett’s Mill Farm, a women-owned, 15-acre organic vegetable farm in Concord. She is now spending the “off-season” in the produce department at Volante Farms in Needham. She continues her decades-long commitment to community service by volunteering weekly at her local food pantry.

Siobhan remains an avid gardener and spent her first year of grad school saving heritage seeds from Ireland and Portugal. She would love to connect with other BU students who are interested in seed keeping and sustainable agriculture. When she isn’t playing in the dirt, Siobhan is probably taking a walk while listening to a podcast.

My name is Sara Sobkoviak and I am a passionate teacher, foodie, traveler, and learner. I received my bachelor’s degree 20 years ago in Mass Media Communications from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma and I minored in Spanish. I then went on to work in the photography industry and started my own business where I photographed families, individuals, engagements, and weddings (including countless Indian weddings where I sampled many amazing dishes). I have traveled to many Spanish-speaking countries and have been heavily influenced by their cultures and food practices. My interest in food has grown since I was a child in my mother’s kitchen in a small town in Illinois. I continued my passion for food by working in restaurants, for catering companies, and then studying culinary arts near my current home in California. My experiences in these kitchens have taught me so much about the culinary world, and the knowledge I now possess is one that I pass on to my high school students in an “Adulting” program I created. Beyond teaching Spanish and culinary skills to my students, I am constantly searching for new information and ways to open my eyes to the world of food and culture around me and bring more depth of knowledge to my classroom, which is why I decided to further my education at BU.

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