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Knox Magazine

Fall 2009 -- Volume 93, Issue 2

Fall 2009 Knox MagazineFood is important. This may be an obvious statement, but it means something different to most everyone. For some, food is simply what we consume to give us energy. For others -- farmers, chefs, restaurant owners -- it's a way of life. And as we face regular bouts of E. coli contamination in spinach or peanuts or eggs, more and more people want to know where their food comes from, how it's grown and prepared, and what impact it had on them and the world. Knox Magazine caught up with a variety of alumni and friends who work with food everyday to find out why food -- and how it makes its way from field to fork -- is so important to each of us.


Letters: Read the President's Message, Editor's Note, and letters to the editor.

Five Professors Receive Tenure: Meet the five Knox professors who recently received tenure -- Emily Anderson, English; Monica Berlin '95, English; Gina Frano, English; Jason Helfer, educational studies; and Jennifer Smith, dance.

Meet the Trustee: "Knox broadened my perspective completely, and it was at Knox that I decided on a profession in academics. As a result of that, I've spent my whole working life on university campuses," says Trustee Harold Bibb '66, professor of biology and associate dean of the University of Rhode Island's graduate school.

Honoring Lombard: Knox and Lombard Colleges trace their history together back to 1930, when Lombard shut its doors, and its students and alumni were welcomed into the Knox community. More than 70 years later, only five Lombard alumni remain. We honor their legacy in this short look at Lombard's history, highlights, and famous alumni.

Pleasure & Profit: The traditional family farm of a few hundred acres is slowly being replaced by very large or very small farms. Knox Magazine talks with three members of the Knox community whose approach to farming represents the diversity of agriculture today.

Middle Earth: Between us and the origin of our meal stretches a large, complex logistical network. Food is transported, handled, processed, packaged, advertised, and marketed, and Knox alumni are active in all facets of what has become a world-wide business.

Field to Fork by Sam CastroFeeding the Community: Restaurant owners Stefano '91 and Whitney Witt Viglietti '92 are serious about the food they bring to their table and the tables of their customers. Meet the Vigliettis and find out why they've dedicated their lives to bringing good food to their community.

Web Extras

Trattoria Stefano Recipes: Try one of five traditional Italian recipes from chef and restaurant owner Stefano Viglietti '91.

Finding Connections through Soup and Soil: A month before her 65th birthday, Sue Hoff found herself on a hillside in Guatemala, helping members of a remote community learn sustainable agriculture. Through her experience, she discovered a personal connection with the soil, the seed, and the human beings they nourish.

Slow, Small, Simple Keys to Bourbon Barrel Success: While throwing back beer and oysters with a friend, Matt Jamie '92 wondered what it would take to make a really great soy sauce. What he came up with was the only micro-brewed sauce fermented in a bourbon barrel. It is one of a full line of products he has developed through his business, Bourbon Barrel Foods, following a simple philosophy: slow, small, simple.

Living the Dream on a Family Farm: The falling economy coupled with the daily grind of big city living gave Claire Leeds '03 and Bill Bevis '03 the opportunity of a lifetime -- the chance to move back to the family farm and start new lives as owners of an apple orchard.

Hard Work, Quality Ingredients Key to Success: "Don't skimp on ingredients," says restaurateur Shannon McClure Shirvan '87, who with her husband, Ali, own two Columbia, Maryland, restaurants -- Waterloo Pizza and Sub Shop and Parsa Kabob.

Concerning Food: A class on the sociology of food helped Michelle Nirdé '09 realize that no other location could say as much about our modern lifestyle as our local grocery store.

Gustatory Taste: Through an innovative Honors project on gustatory taste, Polly Young '09 learned that taste-based experiences form the scrapbook of our lives, documenting our growth as individuals.