Current Research:

Brigaid: Transforming school food in New London, CT

What happens when chefs are put in charge of transforming school food? This project follows the Brigaid program which began putting chefs in school kitchens in New London in 2016. This research seeks to analyze the long-term impacts of changing school food: dietary implications, sustainability and notions of taste.

Cuisine des mères: Apprenticeship, gender and cuisine in Lyon

Starting in the interwar years, a group of Lyonnais women trained one of the most notable generations of male chefs de cuisine in France. This project investigates the movement of culinary knowledge from the private home to the public and professional space of the restaurant kitchen, and the reasons why women were written out of this important moment in French cultural history.

Past research:

‘Heroic Viticulture’: Taste, Place and Heritage in Northern Italy

How do industrial development and wine production work together? Are there alternatives to wine tourism? This ethnographic research looks at the challenges of producing wine in a region that has experienced a major economic downturn and massive out-migration. Central questions include: How do local people adapt their traditions to new economic and social realities? How have the practices of grape growing and winemaking changed and what can this tell us about larger social and cultural shifts in the Canavese?

Urban agriculture in Vancouver, Canada: Growing communities and educating taste

Growing food and planting gardens in the city can be a political act. This ethnographic project looks at the way in which gardeners transform and give meaning to public spaces.

Read more: “Taking Space to Grow Food and Community: Urban Agriculture and Guerrilla Gardening in Vancouver” Cuizine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures, Vol. 4(1), 2013.

Finding a place at the table: A contemporary history of bottled mineral water in Italy

Doctors have been prescribing mineral water as a cure for numerous ailments from indigestion to typhoid for centuries. However, it was not until the turn of the twentieth century that bottled mineral water became big business. The case of the San Gemini springs in Umbria, Italy offers a glimpse at the rise of mineral water bottling and the changing medical discourse used to market this product as an everyday essential.

read more: “Acqua minerale di Sangemini: Italian mineral water finds a place at the table” Journal of Modern Italian Studies. Vol. 14(2)2009: 184-198.

Going to market: Places of sociability in Lyon and Turin

Carried out over a period of three years, this comparative study looks at the social and cultural roles of the Croix-Rousse market in Lyon, France and the Porta Palazzo market in Turin, Italy. Open-air markets may not be the central food distribution institutions they once were; however, markets are essential to urban sociability, local culinary culture and identity.

See also books.