Gillian (with a G)

You can read the relatively long story about why I love food so much here.

But since you probably clicked here to figure out who I am, here’s an abridged version of me.

051My name is Gillian – pronounced like a ‘J’, spelled with a ‘G.’ I have serious issues with wrong pronunciation of names in general and mine in particular.

I’m from suburban Boston, but my parents are from Georgia & California so I actually pronounce my ‘r’s. I graduated from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina with a BA in English (and a Minor in Music – Voice, for what it’s worth). I love my alma mater. I became friends with amazing women, and every single professor was amazing not just in their knowledge of their field, but in their passion about teaching & compassion for their students. It is also a gorgeous campus. Plus, women’s colleges rock. #dontcallitagirlsschool

I started writing this blog during my semester abroad in Florence, Italy. I had been reading food blogs for years, and the Italian food culture is so rich and vibrant, it was a perfect time to start one of my own. This blog is something that has come and gone with me as I move around the world, change jobs, and deal with life. I use it to flesh out my thoughts about life as a twentysomething, life as a food nerd, life as an introvert, life in general. Basically to exercise my needy right brain.

So, food.

I take issue with the term “foodie,” mostly because of it seems to connotes fake/shallow/dim-witted/unthoughtfulness, but I do love food. Eating it, discussing it, reading about it, working with it, dreaming about it. I started the Master of Liberal Arts degree program in Gastronomy & Food Policy at Boston University in fall 2013. I have a particular fascination (bordering on obsession) for food policy, food security, and industrial food animal production & animal welfare. I eat, sleep and breathe sustainable food, as greenwashed/overused as the words may be.

I wrote my undergraduate thesis on M.F.K. Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf & WWII-era cookbooks. Consequently I am the proud owner of slightly random facts about Fisher’s entire life and early 20th century US food propaganda. In my graduate career thus far, I have research South African food security and human right to food issues, the stigma around eating alone, and the U.S. beef industry’s relationship with the federal government.

Other things:

  • I would be fluent in Spanish if I hadn’t switched to study Italian in college before studying abroad in Tuscany, and now my fluency in either language changes daily.
  • I’m an introvert, and proud (but not loud, because duh). INFJ, to get Jungian. Susan Cain is one of my biggest heroes. I also identify very strongly as a highly sensitive person.
  • I held 8 different unpaid internships in food before finally getting hired by someone. I focused on everything from food prep to social media to data entry to grant writing & fundraising. I am a major proponent of internships as a cheap way of learning a crap ton of different skills. I am also a major proponent of hiring your interns & being conscientious of the very fine line between making interns feel part of the team and downright exploitation.
  • I’ve lived in 5 cities and 2 countries in my 24 years.
  • I travel a lot.
  • I do a lot of yoga and crossword puzzles.
  • I will never, ever get sick of watching Friends reruns or drinking seltzer.
  • I have irrational fears of fire and failure.
  • I love Frank Sinatra, and have an extensive knowledge of Broadway showtunes.
  • I really like lists.

I also LOVE talking about study abroad (my experience and just the concept in general), because it quite literally changed my life and I want nothing more than for other students to have as wonderful an experience as I did. Visit my Study Abroad page for the full story! I’m always happy to offer advice on packing, culture shock, and the Italian train system. You might also check out my Links to Love page – I have lots of study abroad/travel resources, if you’re interested!

Really what I’ve learned throughout all my adventures is that life is nothing if you don’t take some time to celebrate the little things.

aw sinatra cafe

…see? The little things.

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