Balakrishnan Selvakumar (Maclean, VA - USA) - Alumnus 2013

Researcher in Neurosciences.

"As someone who enjoys thinking of gastronomy, the HEG program intrigued me for a few reasons: its structure, its affiliation, its duration and the opportunity it provides to write a university thesis based on an original topic of choice. I attended the program wanting to improve my understanding of gastronomy, and to search for ways to nurture a strong interest in it.

Having spent a considerable amount of time reading the program website prior to making the decision to join the program, I can say that what I read did not do justice to what I experienced subsequently. The in-person experience was much better.

The structure of the program is spread wide in the gastronomic disciplines it covers, but it is certainly not spread thin. To listen to experts from various disciplines describe concepts based on hard facts, and well-researched data, often times generated as part of their own research, reveals the depth and quality of analysis one is exposed to. To experience the awakening of a large-scale food market at 2:30 AM; to partake in a meal like one would have in the Middle Ages; to think about the life history of a bubble contrasted to individual flavor perception as champagne is served in many ways; or, to experience a memorable meal accompanied by commentary that is full of imagery yet brief, are some examples of what one is exposed to.

The multidisciplinary nature of the program, and the opportunity to stay in contact with people from different backgrounds who share a common interest in gastronomy, are two big strengths of the program I hope to use in the future. "

Visit Balakrishnan's blog: www.madrasbala.com

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

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