UC Berkeley

Gastronomica: where food meets academia

Did you know that poet Sylvia Plath was passionate about food? Or that Lee Miller, a top 1920s model, fashion photographer, and war correspondent was an excellent cook? Or that there is a a Bengali cooking implement called a bonti?

You would if you read the journal Gastronomica, which will be celebrating its 10th birthday in Berkeley over the next two days.

Gastronomica is published quarterly by UC press and is lauded as the place where food obsession and academia meet. Its current edition, for example, has the articles Sylvia Plath and Food, Lynda K. Bundtzen’s investigation of the poet’s passion for food, and and the essay Discovering Terroir in the World of Chocolate by Bill Nesto, a Master of Wine.

Art and graphics are also a large part of the journal. The current cover is an arresting picture of a blood red wedding cake. It is titled Blood Fountain and was painted by Teheran artist Farhad Moshiri.

UC Press will be holding a reception for its supporters in the David Brower Center tonight, which will be followed at 7 pm by a conversation with noted food scientist Harold McGee. whose On Food and Cooking is considered the definitive book on  the chemistry of cooking.

On Friday, Gastronomica’s editor, Darra Goldstein, will be in conversation with Barry Glassner, a USC professor of sociology and the author of The Gospel of Food. The free event will be at noon at Dwinelle Hall on the Berkeley campus. They will talk about food, culture and identity.

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