Two Guest Lectures

Special lectures offer food for thought

The University of Gastronomic Sciences hosted two guest lecturers this week

On May 8 George Ritzer, Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, held a conference entitled “McDonaldization, (Dis-)enchantment, Nothing and the Gastronomic Interest of Slow Food”.
It was an occasion for students to analyze what Ritzer calls
‘McDonaldization’, or the process of homogenization and standardization
in the hospitality industry, particularly in regards to social customs,
epitomized by American fast food chains. He highlighted the coffee
giant Starbucks as one of the new stars of this trend. During the
lecture, Professor Ritzer also made references to his latest book,
entitled The Globalization of Nothing, recently published in Italian by Slow Food Editore.
On May 9, Australian Nick Ruello, world-renowned expert on fish breeding, held a conference entitled “Challenges & Opportunities with Seafood”.
Following an overview of the enormous quantity of fish species and
their exceptional nutritional qualities, Ruello focused on the core
themes of his widely documented thesis: fish breeding as an important
step in the direction of environmental sustainability, traceability of
the production chain and access to reasonable prices and economic
protection for fishing communities.
Further meetings at the University of Gastronomic Sciences are
scheduled for the month of May. On May 23 the students, having just
arrived back from their stages, will have a chance to meet with Alain Ducasse when he talks with Slow Food President Carlo Petrini about raw ingredients, regions and their relationships in the kitchen.
Ann Noble, Professor Emerita of Enology in the Department of
Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis, will
hold a series of lectures entitled “Sensory Evaluation of Wine” over
three days, May 22-25.

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