We are welcoming a bumper crop of new Gastronomy and Food Studies students for the fall semester. Enjoy getting to know a few of them here.
Hailey DeLorey (She/Her/Hers) has always known that her passion was food. Whether it was cooking, baking, trying new restaurants, or enjoying the company of others around food, she always found the kitchen to be her happy place. Starting out as a home chef and moving into catering in college set her up to attend George Mason University where she graduated in May 2022 with a BS in Community Health specializing in Nutrition. While attending GMU, Hailey was able to explore the issues around food insecurity and how food interacts with one’s health and happiness from both a medical and cultural point of view. She hopes to further this interest at BU’s Gastronomy program by exploring more of the ways different food cultures influence people and bridge her degree in healthcare with a greater culinary knowledge.
Hailey currently works in food acquisition at the Greater Boston Food Bank. She recently moved to Boston where she lives with many, many roommates and is always looking for a new restaurant recommendation.
Naleen Camara (she/her) will never turn down a little treat.
In her youth, Naleen would spend summers growing tomatoes in her backyard with her father and taking trips to the wholesale warehouse to buy food in bulk for her family’s market. She’d sit knee to knee with her sisters and mother pounding, draining and mixing together ginger root to create the perfect, spicy drink for her mother’s friends at work. She’d even test out the different plants in her front yard to see which were edible (spoiler: none of them were.)
Outside of her interest in growing, making and eating food, Naleen is deeply interested in advocating for an individual’s right to a meal. After taking a food writing class during her last semester of undergrad, she began to investigate the question who gets to eat in America? The course challenged Naleen and her classmates to understand accessibility to something that should be an inherent right for everyone in the world. She also began learning about how food interacts with social constructs, analyzing how food culture intertwines with race, sex, gender, class and religion.
When Naleen doesn’t have food on the mind, she’s typically listening to a podcast, going on a walk or painting.
A Wisconsin native with a B.S. in Horticulture from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, Christine Barta now resides in central Texas with her partner, Frank, and their 13-year-old Maltese, Oscar. She is currently the Market Garden & Retail Manager at World Hunger Relief, Inc in Waco, TX.
Having grown up in the Midwest, Christine learned pretty early on that sitting around the table was one of her favorite pastimes. The conversation never dwindled until the spread did, and even then, Midwestern goodbyes take about 200% longer than anywhere else. Gardening with her mom, hunting and fishing with her dad, and going out to eat with her sister (and sister’s friends) taught Christine a lot about what makes a good meal: the company.
While her interest specifically in Gastronomy is a bit newer, Christine can often be found reading food literature (she is currently on a Ruth Reichl kick), playing laid-back video games, or spending time with her friends and partner. She hopes that this program will allow her to not only expand her palate and knowledge, but to also become more aware on the sociocultural impact of food globally.
Sharmila Bhide is a foodtech entrepreneur; An experimental cook; An amateur food scientist; A Michelin star frequenter; a hole-in-the-waller.
This is how she introduces herself on her Instagram handle aptly named glutonix.
She is a CPA and an MBA from Yale and has spent the last 25 years working with numbers and finances and business. While the head was busy doing number crunching, the heart was always immersed in all aspects of food – cooking, eating, reviewing and researching.
She decided to marry her love for food and training in business to launch a successful foodtech startup. However when COVID hit, it slowed down the business and he started exploring studying in food. She has done an online course at Harvard on Science of cooking and enjoyed the class so much that she decided to go back to school to learn and research all aspects of food – history, science, anthropology, evolution etc.
She is extremely excited to begin her course at BU and be immersed fully into anything and everything about food😀
Cooking and food has been an important part of Michael Fleming’s life from an early age. Being raised in a large family in Staten Island, NY, cooking for the masses was a weekly adventure. He has vivid memories of plating antipasto with one grandmother and watching Julia Child with another. His fondest moments growing up revolved around the table. During high school, Michael started preparing meals for family and friends and experimenting with new foods and flavors. During college, Michael realized his other passion. While working on his Associates Degree in Culinary Arts, Michael started working with children during an after school program. He transferred to Georgian Court University where he earned a Bachelor’s in Humanities with a dual certification in Elementary and Special Education. He continued and received his Master’s in Educational Leadership. For the past ten years Michael has been teaching special education at Aldrich School in Howell, New Jersey. He has maintained a plethora of food related part time jobs including working at a spice shop, a key holder at Sur La Table, a brunch chef at a boutique hotel, and a caterer.
An avid traveler, Michael enjoys experiencing the world through cuisine. Having visited over 30 countries, Michael has taken a cooking class or food tour in nearly all of them. He finds pleasure in bringing new ingredients, techniques, and recipes home and trying them out on family and friends. During the pandemic, Michael became really interested in cooking, recipe development, and food history. He scoured cookbooks and prepared a new recipe nightly for his two roommates, teaching both how to cook (and wash the dishes!) Currently, Michael is beginning his eleventh year teaching language and learning disabled students and working part time for a cinema start-up called Cinema Lab at his local cinema. Michael resides in Bradley Beach, New Jersey.
Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, Amy Phuong grew up watching Yan Can Cook on PBS while doing her homework as her parents worked late. She developed a love of food getting homecooked meals every day from her mom and going grocery shopping as a typical weekend activity. Her first memory of when she realized her food was culturally different was one day, in grade school, Amy came home to ask her mom to get a McDonald’s hamburger like all the other kids. On modest means, her mom told Amy she would send her a homecooked hamburger as her school lunch that week. Amy was excited about getting a hamburger for lunch – only to find a cold, fried pork chop sandwiched between two slices of white bread as her ‘hamburger’. She didn’t have the heart to explain to her mom that wasn’t what she wanted.
From Geologist to Full-time Mom to Personal Chef, Jessica Wilson is an avid believer in the mantra “Never Stop Learning”. She loved her 14 years as a Geologist in the Energy Industry where she was able to work collaboratively with multi-functional teams both domestically and internationally in addressing challenging, time-sensitive scientific and operational problems, as well as personal topics with fellow geologists via management and staffing and development. However, while there, she began to realize just how many people, often with dual career families, work hard every day only to come home in the evening exhausted and unable to find the time to cook. Jessica truly believes in the health and wellness benefits that a good, clean, home-cooked meal provides, and that, coupled with her frustration at not being able to indulge in her passion for cooking as much as she would have liked, led her to make the decision to pivot onto a new culinary path. After earning a Diploma in Culinary Arts, she worked as a personal chef, serving seniors in her community. She is also a certified Culinary Coach via the CHEF (Culinary Health Education Fundamentals) training program offered by the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine. Throughout her life, Jessica has been grateful for her ability to enjoy a deep-rooted connection to the land as she continues to work with her father and their farmer-business partners to continue their 100+ year family legacy of farming corn and soybeans in Cumberland County Illinois. Jessica currently lives in Texas and misses the East Coast. For fun, she enjoys reading, cooking, practicing food photography, teaching her sons to cook and eating the cupcakes her son Patrick loves to make. She is also always up for a glass of cabernet sauvignon and dark chocolate.