Dr. Amy Trubek is Professor in the Nutrition and Food Sciences department at the University of Vermont and Faculty Director for University of Vermont’s graduate program in Food Systems. 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 increasingly involved in transdisciplinary, collaborative research with scholars focusing on nutrition, public health and sensory science.
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 is the author of numerous articles published in a number of interdisciplinary and disciplinary journals, including Gastronomica, Appetite, Anthropology Now, British Food Journal, and Radical History Review as well as book chapters focused on culinary history, food and nationalism and other topics. She serves as the co-editorial chair of Gastronomica: The Journal For Food Studies.
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 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.