Professor and Interim Chair

Dr. Amy Trubek is Professor and Interim Chair of the Nutrition and Food Sciences
department at the University of Vermont. She was the founding Faculty Director of the
Food Systems graduate program. Trained as a cultural anthropologist and chef, her
research interests include the globalization of the food supply, the relationship between
taste and place, the development of food agency, and cooking and sensory evaluation as
cultural practices. Dr. Trubek is involved in transdisciplinary, collaborative research with
scholars focusing on the ‘wicked problems’ of our time in relation to food systems and
food agency.

She teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, including Basic Concepts of Food,
Qualitative Research Methods, and Food Systems, Society and Policy. She is the author
of three books: Haute Cuisine: How the French Invented the Culinary Profession (2000),
The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir (2008) and Making Modern Meals:
How Americans Cook Today. She serves as the co-editorial chair of Gastronomica: The
Journal For Food Studies. She has been interviewed and quoted in various media outlets,
including the Burlington Free Press, Atlantic Monthly, the Boston Globe and the New
York Times.

Dr. Trubek’s research involves the practices needed to move from the raw to the cooked
(in a broad sense): people working with food, making food for themselves and for others,
taking the resources of the natural environment and transforming them into palatable and
culturally acceptable dishes, meals and drinks. This focus on people and practices also
involves an analytic consideration of the transfer of knowledge. How do chefs learn what
is considered “expert knowledge?” Why do cheesemakers and winemakers want to
convey the importance of their landscapes when explaining what makes their cheese and
wine taste so good? How do we understand the consequences of global food supply
chains in light of the increasing evidence of climate change? How do Americans learn
how to cook while living in such a saturated food environment, when someone else (or
something else) can always do that work instead? These questions also intersect with a
robust line of social science and humanities inquiry into the cascading interest (especially
in the United States) in foods from somewhere made by someone, most often identified
as a cultural and political response to the industrialization and globalization of the
modern food supply.


Selected Publications


  • 2017 Making Modern Meals: How Americans Cook Today. Berkeley: Universityof California Press.
  • 2008 The Taste of Place, A Cultural Journey Into Terroir. Berkeley: University ofCalifornia Press.
  • 2000 Haute Cuisine, How the French Invented the Culinary Profession:University of California Press.

Book Chapters:

  • February 2019. Nationalism, Culinary Coherence and the Case of the UnitedStates: An Empirical or Conceptual Problem? In The Emergence of NationalFood: The Dynamics of Food and Nationalism. Atsuko Ichijo, Venetia Johannesand Ronald Ranta, Editors. New York: Bloomsbury (invited, editor review).
  • November 2018. Tejate, Tejateras and the Taste of Place: A Sensory Excavation.Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. London: ProspectBooks.


  • November 2018. Trubek, Amy. Tejate, Tejateras and the Taste of Place: ASensory Excavation. Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food andCookery. London: Prospect Books. (competitive acceptance, editor review)
  • September 2017. Trubek, Amy, Jacob Lahne, Maria Carabello and CaitlinMorgan. Empowered to Cook: The Crucial Role of ‘Food Agency’ in MakingMeals. Appetite. Volume 116, pages 297-305. (primary author, principalinvestigator with graduate students, peer review)
  • December 2017. Lahne, Jacob, Julia Wolfson and Amy Trubek. Development ofthe Cooking and Food Preparation Action Scale (CAFPAS): A new frameworkfor measuring the complexity of cooking. Food Quality and Preference. Volume62, pages 96-105. (principal investigator, collaboration with quantitativeresearchers, peer review)
  • March 2017. Wolfson, Julia, Jacob Lahne, Stephanie Bostic, Shauna Henley, JeanHarvey, Amy Trubek. A comprehensive approach to understanding cookingbehavior: implications for research and practice. British Food Journal. Volume119, Issue 5. (collaboration among interdisciplinary researchers, peer review)
  • April 2017. Jennifer Porter, David Conner, Jane Kolodinsky, Amy Trubek. GetReal: An Analysis of Student Preference for Real Food. Agriculture and HumanValues (online version first). (graduate student committee member, peer review)

Awards and Recognition

  • Keynote Speaker. Does Organization Make the Meal: Stories from American Home Cooks (of all types). Third Cook and Health Conference. Lisbon, Portugal. October 16-18, 2019.
  • Keynote Speaker. Making Modern Meals: How Americans Cook and Why it Matters. Healthy Food in Health Care 2018 Winter Retreat. Woodstock, Vermont. January 25-26, 2018.
  • Keynote Speaker. Creative Tastebuds Symposium: Explore How Brain and Culture Collaborate on Taste. Aarhus University, Denmark. September 4-5, 2017.

Associations and Affiliations

  • Association for the Study of Food in Society
  • American Anthropological Association
  • Vermont Fresh Network
Amy Trubek

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

  • Taste of Place
  • Culinary History and Anthropology
  • Food Supply Chains


  • PhD, Anthropology, university of Pennsylvania, 1995
  • Advanced Certificate, Cordon Bleu Cookery School, 1986
  • BA, Sociology/Anthropology, Haverford College, 1985


  • 802-656-0833
Office Location:

251 MLS Carrigan Wing

Office Hours:

by appointment

Courses Taught