Course Spotlight: Culinary Tourism

The Gastronomy program is thrilled to have Alicia Kennedy teaching MET ML 692 E1, Culinary Tourism for the Spring 2023 term.

This new 4-credit course is in hybrid format, combining online content with a week of in-person excursions and activities in Puerto Rico during BU’s spring break (March 5-11, 2023).

Course Description:
‘Culinary Tourism’, sometimes called ‘Food Tourism’ or ‘Gastronomy Tourism’ encompasses the active engagement with food and beverage experiences within a given culture or society, reflecting a sense of place, heritage, or tradition. Most often associated with international travel focusing on food, drink and tourist economies, examples of culinary tourism are increasingly found even domestically, in one’s own home city or town. The idea of exploring a place for culinary purposes (eating, drinking, cooking, learning about local and regional foods) has a long history, however today the travel industry is showing record numbers with no signs of slowing. Nearly 50% of international travelers cite food and drink as the primary purpose of their journeys and the field has never offered so many options and of food and drink experiences to choose from.

From ‘gourmet’ chef-led tours and ultra-local street food crawls to home cooking classes, agricultural visits, and everything in between, this course will consider both the theoretical and practical aspects of culinary tourism in the 21st century. It will focus on questions around identity (food as expression), authenticity (‘going to the source’), commoditization (‘who gets to cook/eat what and why?’) and the role of food and travel media, as well as travel industry issues such as over-tourism, environmental impact and cultural appropriation.

On top of learning the history and concepts behind culinary tourism’s development, students will be taught a practical approach, looking at how the industry itself functions — how are food and drink tours/experiences put together? Who are the industry stakeholders? What are the trends and forces driving the growing interest and what affect can this have — both good and bad — on local economies and cuisines?


In addition to hearing from guest speakers who are currently working in media, the class will have a workshop feel as students spend time reading, writing, and discussing work with one another. Featured here , the literature throughout the course will present a variety of valuable food studies perspectives intended to drive the conversation that the trip will then reinforce.

Students will be responsible for making and paying for their own travel and accommodation arrangements. The cost of excursions and activities are included in tuition – there is no additional fee for this course.

A course information meeting was held on 11/1/22, here you will find a link to the recording .

This class is web-reg restricted, meaning students cannot register for it via the Student Link.
If you would like to request registration please complete this form.

Please direct any further questions to Barbara Rotger (

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