Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Vermont
After college, Amy Trubek was an apprentice to a chef in a French restaurant and eventually went to Cordon Bleu Cooking School. She then went on to pursue graduate studies in Food & Culture, eventually earning a Ph.D. in anthropology in 1995. She is now an assistant professor in the Nutrition and Food Science department at the University of Vermont. She teaches courses in the contemporary food system, food and culture, qualitative research methods and food history. Her research interests include the history of the culinary profession, globalization of the food supply, the relationship between taste and place, and cooking as a cultural practice.
She is involved in on-going research into the importance of the taste of place as a means of promoting and supporting place based foods and regional food systems. Her recent book, The Taste of Place, A Cultural Journey into Terroir (2008 University of California Press), looks at the long-term importance of terroir as a cultural category in France and explores how terroir is being used in the United States today to change our food culture. She is also involved in an interdisciplinary research project looking the sensory qualities of unique Vermont products and the possible link to terroir, with a present focus on maple syrup and artisan cheese. This project is linked to a new initiative at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture exploring the long-term policy and economic possibilities for place based foods in the state. More recently, Trubek has launched an in-depth ethnographic project on cooking in contemporary American culture linking cooking practices to the food environment and individual health. Prior to starting at University of Vermont in the fall of 2005, Amy was the executive director of the Vermont Fresh Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting direct partnerships between farmers and chefs. Amy was a 2002-2004 Food and Society Policy Fellow, and before that she taught at New England Culinary Institute for eight years.