Testimonial - Balakrishnan Selvakumar (India) - Alumnus 2013

Balakrishnan Selvakumar

As someone who enjoys gastronomy and spends much time thinking about it, the Hautes Études du Goût programme intrigued me for its location in France, its multidisciplinary nature, and the opportunity it provided to write a university thesis based on an original topic of choice. Having attended the program, I also enjoyed the diversity of people I met among teachers, colleagues and alumni.

My research interest, to understand the relationship between gastronomy and human behavior, formed the basis of my HEG thesis. It also made me change my career from an academic researcher in the field of neuroscience to teacher in an independent school that included the opportunity to design and teach a yearlong course about gastronomy and human behavior as might appeal to high school students.

Soon after I attended the HEG programme in October of 2013, and much before my current teaching job, I started a blog (www.madrasbala.com) to write informally about my everyday interest in gastronomy and the human element involved therein. I use the blog as an outlet to express my perceptions and analysis of gastronomy as well as to engage in discussion with a broader audience and learn from their perspectives and experiences. The blog draws from the humanities and the sciences; from gastronomical memories extending to childhood; from the diverse conversations I’ve had with people; and, from an interest to use photography to express gastronomy. I write about what appeals to me about gastronomy at the moment, and what questions arise. Much to my delight, I have enjoyed the interactions I’ve had with people through the blog, including making new friends, and understanding older ones better.

Institut des Hautes Etudes du Goût, de la Gastronomie et des des Arts de la Table

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