2015 - Spring

Covering The Food World

Course Number: JOUR-GA 1231.002

Day & Time: Tuesday, 10am-1:40pm

Location: 655

Instructor: Meryl Gordon

Celebrity chefs and their tv empires, illegal immigrant waiters living an underground existence, an activist city government banning transfats and upgrading school cafeteria food, street vendors fighting for space in front of the Metropolitan Museum, stores advertising low-cal ice cream that in reality packs on the pounds, blocks with dozens of Indian restaurants side-by-side – there are an endless number of great stories to be done about Manhattan’s high and low food chain. Combining intensive reading, reporting and writing, this course would use the food world as a laboratory. Students will tackle a wide array of  stories revolving around food, dealing with larger issues such as economics, social class, environmental and health safety issues, government action and pure aesthetics. The goal is to make students comfortable with the subject area, as well as teach them how to find memorable stories in seemingly humdrum situations. Required for this course: a good appetite and a healthy curiosity.

Tentative reading for the class would include Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, Calvin Trillan’s Alice Let’s Eat, Ruth Reichl’s Comfort Me with Apples, Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, Danny Meyer’s Setting the Table, and Jennifer 8. Lee’s Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food.