Sunday, November 11, 2007

An Update On My Upcoming Future

I thought perhaps I should update everyone on my plans for after I finish the semester here at Boston University. As many of you know I went off to Kansas State a couple weeks ago to visit their PhD in Hospitality Admin. program., the visit went wonderfully. I met with the director of the program, Dr. Canter as well as many of the instructors and professors. I also had the chance to meet some of the students and even watch a student defend their dissertation. Watching the student go through their dissertation put me at ease at my future role in doing one myself.

I was very happy with what I saw there and with everyone I met. The town of Manhattan, KS was great as well. Not at all what I expected. I would have no problem fitting in at all. Great downtown area with some stuff to do along with a substantial commercial and retail region. There were a few restaurants in the area as well which seems promising.

Dr. Canter sent me an e-mail stating they are searching for a full-time instructor for their bachelor's degree program and suggested I throw my hat in, which I am doing. It will take me longer to attain my PhD, but the experience of teaching full-time will be well worth it. The cost-of-living is also going to be a fraction of what it costs me to live here in Boston.

I will be applying for the PhD program and the instructor position for fall of 2008. I finish up here in December and will be moving to upstate New York for a time, while I write my thesis and teach as an adjunct at the school I attained my culinary degree from. As of the moment I was told I'd be teaching a couple Food Prep 1 classes, but my schedule will be confirmed 100% this Friday when I go visit.

I think I have fully decided on my thesis topic, which will me theorizing that there is a national American cuisine. It is much more complex than most people will think of on the surface. I am using a couple models of what other sociologists have used for the French model. Particularly I'll be looking at Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson and some others. The main idea is to show their model, then give me reasoning as to why we share the same model. Some of the ideas include illustrating a high-cuisine, such as those shared in the kitchens of Charlie Trotter, Tom Collichio, Thomas Keller, Alice Waters, etc.

Before anyone says that they are inspired by other cuisines, so is French, Italian and others. All cuisine originates from somewhere else. We also have our own distinct philosophers of cuisine, James Beard, Craig Claiborn, Karen Hess etc. There are many other parts, but I don't want to divulge too much because I'll want you to buy the book someday.

So there you have it, the update on my life. I should also mention that I'll be tossing in an occasional American Culinary Federation competition here and there during the spring, I'll keep you updated on that. I've been so busy the last year here at BU, I haven't had the chance to compete other than the ACF national convention last summer, so it will be nice to compete again.

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