Students and academics from the UK’s only Masters course in Gastronomy launched a short film this week in an attempt to claim back the term ‘gastronomy’.
The three and a half minute film, which also describes the content of the MSc Gastronomy course at Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University, challenges the popular understanding of the term ‘gastronomy’, which has been adopted and subverted by TV chefs, amongst others, in recent years to refer to a particular style of cooking, high-end food products and gourmet experiences.
The MSc Gastronomy course proposes that food is more than just a lifestyle accessory or experience. Building upon an understanding of ‘gastronomy’ coined by Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1825 as ‘the reasoned comprehension of everything connected with the nourishment of man’, the course examines how food connects and influences people, places, politics and processes, as well as the environment, societies and economics of the world around us. There’s a lot more to food than just food.
Students on the year long course study food culture and communication, food systems and science, food production and politics and much more. They are also taken on a variety of field trips, tastings and visits to food producers, which are designed to expose them to many of the ways that food is much more than just the fuel that we eat or something to show off to others.
Anyone interested in studying the course in 2016 can find more information at: www.qmugastronomy.com. There will be 12 fully funded places available for applicants domiciled in Scotland and the European Union.
Charlotte Maberly, a programme leader and lecturer on the MSc Gastronomy course, said:
“This short film takes a tongue-in-cheek look at both the current misinterpretation of the term ‘gastronomy’ and a more serious look at the emerging academic field of ‘gastronomy’, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining and understanding how food influences absolutely everything in the world around us.”
“We currently live in a world in which people are more disconnected from their food than ever before, and in which food systems drive global economic, environmental and social problems. If we don’t fully understand food, we’re not going to be able to solve these problems.”
“Scotland is a particularly suitable place to look at the problems and contradictions that surround food today. The MSc Gastronomy course at Queen Margaret University gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the study of food as a whole, as well as in parts, and produces graduates that leave the course prepared to help tackle these problems.”