Project English Level B - The SFC Cookbook Project
- Food as Communication
Tue. 3rd. Period David J. Freedman
Culture, Discussion, Literature, Presentation, Project, Research, Speaking, Vocabulary, Writing

Introduction: Food is the essence of all cultures; each region, each country, each religion, each society has its specialty. Each delicacy has its history and significance. Thus, to bridge the gap of communities on opposite sides of the globe and to truly understand one another, each person must be willing to learn about, experience, and appreciate the foods of other cultures. Through the sharing of recipes and explanations, foreign strangers can relate to and accept their distant peers, improving and uniting the global community. this course will explore the emerging field of "Food studies" ( ) as a base for creating the SFC cookbook project.

Through selected readings and presentations, students will investigate some of the basic food studies issues such as Who chooses what we eat and why? What are the ethics of eating? How are foods symbolic markers of identity? And, significantly, How is food integrated into classrooms? based on these presentations and discussions philosophical issues surrounding them, the students will create a cookbook project that represents the food cultures of Keio SFC. The class is designed for a maximum 20 students. If more than 20 students pre-register, selection will be made AT THE FIRST CLASS. If you cannot attend the first class, you will not be placed in the class UNLESS you send an email with an explanation to my address above. Selection will be based on participation in a short “model class" (which will also give you an idea about the level of language and daily work for the class.)

Attendance: 40%
Presentations: 30%
Individual Movement: 5%
Final Project: 25%


 Orientation - What are Food Studies? vocabulary: gastronomy, culinary, aesthetics. form a small group. Introduce yourself, and share your definitions of the vocabulary above. Next, together read the short passage below. Prepare a short explanation of what your group thinks about its meaning and what it tells us about food culture. Food studies is the critical examination of food and its contexts within science, art, history, society, and other fields. It is distinctive from other food-related areas of study such as nutrition, agriculture, gastronomy, and culinary arts in that it tends to look beyond the mere consumption, production, and aesthetic appreciation of food and tries to illuminate food as it relates to a vast number of academic fields. It is thus a field that involves and attracts philosophers, historians, scientists, literary scholars, sociologists, art historians, anthropologists, and others. Food studies is discovering the story of what we eat, how we eat it and why? What can we learn about food history in japan from the following: When Fukuzawa Yukichi first published his 1867 book on the material culture of the west the Japanese had no word for fork, so he invented nikusashi or meat skewer, and used the Japanese reading of the traditional Chinese character for spoon (匙).福沢諭吉、『西洋衣食住』、1867 (Fukuzawa Yukichi, Seiyô ishokujû, first printed in 1867. Reprinted in 巻2、福沢全集、東京:時事新報社,明31(Volume 2, Fukuzawa zenshû, Tokyo: Jijishinpôsha, 1898.) choose one of the links below; what do these sites tell us about Keio food culture past and present? how could we use this information to introduce people to keio and its history? A. Fukuzawa's secret recipes: B. Keio and ramen: Homework - Often a culture's food history and aesthetics is reflected in the way food enters the daily language. Here is a list of english idioms using food: choose one idiom or phrase and be ready to share it at the beginning of class next week. what you think this idiom tells us about english food cultures?


Food History - What is food heritage? vocabulary: prefix, example: pre + apportioned = ? compound words, example: vine + yard =? suffix ( brew + ery = ? The story of food covers many areas; it is the compilation of the historic places, people, institutions, plants, animals that created the foods we know today. Most of us have childhood memories of food places—maybe a restaurant, or a market where the vendors gave us free pieces of fruit. As more and more chain restaurants serving frozen preapportioned meals spread across the US and some of the rest of the world, much is being lost—Healthy food. Local sourcing. Personal stories. And more. What about local orchards and groves? Old vineyards, breweries and fish markets? As we lose our connection with our food, and with the people who grow and process it, we lose much of our cultural history and identity. When we seek out the stories of our food heritage, this is food history. food only that sustain us, but it also reveals the story of the ancestors who nurtured, domesticated, processed and cooked these foods. In our project we need to explore where food history has been made, and spotlight the people who continue to preserve these traditions. discussion : form a group; ask vocabulary questions; discuss your ideas about about the reading. Together come up with a list of three "traditional" japanese foods. What are their food history/heritage? share your information with the class. select one of the readings below; together review the information. - ask questions about vocabulary and phrases you think are interesting. - share the key information about the food you read about. - discuss how the history of a food can teach us about culture, trade, language. A. tempura: B. ramen: C. yokohama curry: together prepare a brief explanation of what your food research tells us about Japan's food heritage. Please focus on food history and culture; use personal stories from the group that highlight your ideas. homework - First, select a food or recipe from your past that illustrates your food heritage or story. Next, choose one of the QUOTES below, that matches your idea and research it AT HOME! come to class prepared to give a short (3-5 min.) presentation using your food heritage to introduce yourself. A. too many cooks spoil the broth . “The Life of Sir Peter Carew” published in 1575 B. one man's meat is another man's poison - The 1703 The Athenian Oracle: Being an Entire Collection of all the Valuable Questions and Answers in the Old Athenian Mercuries C. Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin 1825 D. A good meal soothes the soul as it regenerates the body. From the abundance of it flows a benign benevolence. Frederick W. Hackwood, ‘Good Cheer’ (1911)


Personal Presentation Skills: section focus - presentation delivery Vocabulary - rhetoric, eye contact; projection/public voice; modalities/register Rhetoric refers to the rules of argumentation and presentation. Each language has its own set of rules for information organization and support. If we want to present and write effectively in English, we need to understand English rhetoric. The rules of english rhetoric come from Aristotle (who wrote a book called Rhetoric for his students 2,300 years ago.) We can still find references to Aristotle's ideas in current high school text on public speaking: One of Aristotle's concepts was that a speaker had to have ethos, the appearance of moral superiority by his voice, demeanor and stance. we could see these ideas in public speaking guidance in the "presentation delivery" section on the site above. The skills they emphasize are called the personal presentation skills; and this is our focus in Presentation I. Please remember that Presentation is an interactive event in english; all speakers begin with self-identification (hello my name is,) and conclude with "Thank you for listening are there any questions?"So please leave time for questions. If you are not presenting, you are actively listening. The goal of a presentation is to communicate ideas; we know if we have succeeded when there are questions from the audience. What kind of questions do we ask? Who is speaking? What was that word? Where does that food come from? Why is the recipe significant? etc. So while the presenter is being evaluated on their personal presentation skills (speaking, no reading,) the rest of us will get participation marks by asking a question. Presentation check list: food story or recipe a quote that illustrates your ideas/feelings about food, cooking, etc. notes for talking - NO READING! a presentation time


Food Aesthetics vocabulary word - aesthetics = the theory and study of the concepts of beauty. what is the relationship between food and beauty? read this short passage, and be ready to share your ideas. Vision is crucial in identifying ingredients, their quality, and the techniques used, and even has a bearing on the perception of flavor. A dish not displayed traditionally may "not taste the same," and an unfamiliar color, such as blue, may be off-putting. Japanese diners recognize the importance of eye appeal, to the extent of photographing their meals at restaurants around the world. Their cooks display fanned slices, neat parcels, sculpted vegetables, and noodles placed in soups. Cut fish displayed without sauces contributes to a clean look. According to Richard Hosking in A Dictionary of Japanese Food, chefs might "spend the day considering the aesthetics of arranging three sardines." Moritsuke (food arrangement) follows seven basic patterns, including sugimori (strips and slices of food in a slanting pile), kasanemori (overlapping slices), tawaramori (blocks or rounds placed horizontally in a pyramid), and so on. Illustrating invention within a highly regulated framework, the shojin ryori cookery tradition arranges food like a seasonal landscape—perhaps blue mountains in summer, red in autumn, brown in winter, and flowery in spring. The resulting scene is so abstract that it may appear as one or two objects on a plate to the untutored eye. As Japanese cooks and diners also appreciate, food is framed by the plate, which might be a beautiful object in its own right, and by the table setting; by other foods, including drinks; by decorations, such as flowers; and by a garden outlook or streetscape. choose ONE of the research questions below and be ready to explain the role of aesthetics in food. A. What is washoku? B. Who was August Escoffier? (old BBC drama with a character based on escoffier) C. Where did the "gourmet" manga, Oshinbo, come from? (beginning chapter of Oishinbo manga in english online.)


where do we post our work old page: or new page


guest speaker


presentation 2 


food and education


share reports and organize first project workgroups 


presentation 3: project work proposals


Final project - in class work

(please do not be absent!)


Final project - in class work

(please do not be absent!)


Final Presentations and Critique


project evaluation and conviviality party? 


Field work options:

  1. guest speaker hosting
  2. web work

As this is a language project class, the most important component is daily attendance and PARTICIPATION.  This means being in class, on time, using YOUR English to communicate.  “Being in class, on time,” means just that.  If you need to miss a class whether through illness, school activities, or personal business, please send an appropriate e-mail (before, not after that fact) and keep up with the work.  Daily participation means using English everyday in class.  It does not mean speaking perfectly, it does not mean having the “correct” answer to every question (a good question, for example, “What does that word mean?” is as much participation as a good answer;) BUT you must speak up!