Professor and Acting Chair

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.

Publications

Books:

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

Book Chapters-Sole Author:

  • February 2019. Nationalism, Culinary Coherence and the Case of the United States: An Empirical or Conceptual Problem ? In The Emergence of National Food: The Dynamics of Food and Nationalism. Atsuko Ichijo, Venetia Johannes and 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: Prospect Books.

Articles:

  • November 2018. Trubek, Amy. Tejate, Tejateras and the Taste of Place: A Sensory Excavation. Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. London: Prospect Books. (competitive acceptance, editor review)
  • September 2017. Trubek, Amy, Jacob Lahne, Maria Carabello and Caitlin Morgan. Empowered to Cook: The Crucial Role of ‘Food Agency’ in Making Meals. Appetite. Volume 116, pages 297-305. (primary author, principal investigator with graduate students, peer review)
  • December 2017. Lahne, Jacob, Julia Wolfson and Amy Trubek. Development of the Cooking and Food Preparation Action Scale (CAFPAS): A new framework for measuring the complexity of cooking. Food Quality and Preference. Volume 62, pages 96-105. (principal investigator, collaboration with quantitative researchers, peer review)
  • March 2017. Wolfson, Julia, Jacob Lahne, Stephanie Bostic, Shauna Henley, Jean Harvey, Amy Trubek. A comprehensive approach to understanding cooking behavior: implications for research and practice. British Food Journal. Volume 119, Issue 5. (collaboration among interdisciplinary researchers, peer review)
  • April 2017. Jennifer Porter, David Conner, Jane Kolodinsky, Amy Trubek. Get Real: An Analysis of Student Preference for Real Food. Agriculture and Human Values (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

Education

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

Contact

Phone:
  • 802-656-0833
Office Location:

251 MLS Carrigan Wing

Office Hours:

by appointment

Courses Taught