Requirements & Learning Outcomes


Participation (10%) – Active participation is required to succeed in the class. Students must come to class having read the assigned readings (Dickie’s Delizia! and articles). Discussion on readings and films are fundamental to create a community of learners. Active participation in the preparation of the dishes is mandatory. 

Weekly Blog (15%) – Fifteen (15) comments of at least 200 words each on the assigned weekly readings are required before coming to class.

Weekly e-diary post (16%) – Every week, after class, the students will write a reaction to the in-class meeting. Sixteen (16) e-diary posts of at least 200 words are required. In the e-diary, the students will note their personal discoveries, thoughts, and reflections. The e-diaries are due by the next class meeting.

Book reviews (10%) – Two book reviews of 1,000 words each are required throughout the semester. Books are assigned in the first week of classes.

Film review (5%) – Students are required to watch a film on their own and write a 1,000 word film review focusing on the food aspects. Films are assigned in the first week of class.

Digital Project (15%) – Students are required to do a digital presentation on a chosen topic. Each presentation should be at least 10 minutes long (maximum 15 minutes) and done with Screencast-o-matic (

Comments on 14 digital projects (14%) – Students are required to comment on the other students’ digital projects, explaining the most important element that you learned. 30 words minimum are required for each comment.

Thanksgiving Project (5%) – As a Thanksgiving project, students will prepare a dish to share for a pre-Thanksgiving feast.

Final dinner (10%) – As a class, the students will prepare a dinner (room TBA) for invited guests.


Skilled (develop knowledge, intellectual and applied skills, literacies): The class is a mix of academic and applied skills: while the students acquire knowledge of Italian history from the Middle Ages to nowadays through a gastronomic cultural lens, they also acquire applied skills through the actual preparation of dishes that are historically contextualized. Further, the students learn how to prepare a digital presentation, a necessary professional skill.

Creative (demonstrate scholarship, artistry, innovation): The students are constantly producing scholarship in this writing intensive course. By the end of the semester, every student will have written at least 10,000 words spanning various assignments: diaries, reaction papers to weekly historical-gastronomic readings, book reviews, and film reviews that ask them to reflect critically on what they learn. The students show engagement through the production of academic digital presentations, where creativity and originality are fostered through individually selected topics that are placed within the context of the overall learning experience. They also demonstrate innovation and artistry in cooking meals for both the Thanksgiving Celebration and the Final Dinner, while by the latter stages of the semester they already demonstrate autonomy in the kitchen, often preparing dishes without direct supervision.

Connected (engage community and diversity, local stewardship: global citizenship): The class is engaged with the local community, having hosted guests who own a local Italian-American business, who were able to give the students a non-academically filtered perspective on the outside world to provide an actual application of what we learn. Moreover, the course is naturally aligned towards global citizenship, giving the students an international perspective on culture through the lens of Italian and Italian-American gastronomy.

Responsible (act with commitment to ethics, leadership, professionalism, sustainability): The students are asked to act professionally every time they come to class because of the food preparation protocols. They learn the procedures on how to act in a kitchen and how to prepare food in a sustainable manner. The philosophy of the class is that every dish and meal can and should be prepared from scratch, thereby supporting the idea of a healthier and more sustainable way of eating. With this in mind, the students are also required to embody professionalism and sustainability in the two main practical assignments of the semester: the Thanksgiving Celebration, where the students are divided into teams of 2-3 and are asked to prepare a dish outside of the classroom to be assessed by the other students, and the Final Dinner, where the students will actually cook a meal for roughly 40 people including invited guests.