Contributing writer

Natalie C. Padilla

Latest Content

Arts

Do It Yourself

I couldn’t say that my roommate was too happy when, upon opening our closet, she found a giant mushroom suspended in hazy liquid. This particular mushroom—also known as a SCOBY, or Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast—was part of my kombucha tea home brew kit, merely one of many culinary tools I had randomly brought back to the apartment.

Arts

Play with Your Food

Who is to say that a Caesar salad requires more lettuce than bread? We could resign ourselves to reproduce the work of strangers, but this challenge to deconstruct can provide inspiration even when we believe a dish to be complete. Descended from Mexican-Italian heritage, I was taught from a young age the proper way to assemble pasta and the appropriate fillings for a taco. But why shouldn’t we do otherwise?

Arts

Democracy in a Decanter

At almost any wine tasting, the same precisely obscure terminology is used to describe the taste of the drink: a scent of stone fruit, balanced flavors, excessively young tannins. But to me, a certain unknown German wine evoked more unfamiliar qualities: a scent of gasoline or paint thinner, watery—perhaps not the sort of flavor profile the traditional elitists of the wine world would deem worthy of such analysis. But I found it intriguing.

Arts

The Culinary Theater

It is all part of the experience—today customers are seeking more than just tasty food or creative drinks; they are seeking a full interactive event. The décor, the menu, the restaurant staff, the customer—all contribute to a theatrical reenactment of the food culture of a distinct historical period. And what better way to build community than through this form of art, a staged dining experience based on customer participation?

Arts

In Defense of Foodies

Today, the term foodie describes a way of thinking rather than a way of acting. A foodie is someone committed to increasing his or her knowledge about food and—in this era—someone who sees food as art that can be produced by ordinary people rather than by a culinary elite.

Massachusetts Hall
FAS

Graduate Students Start Movement To Unionize

Central Administration

Amidst Title IX Debate, Law Faculty Raise Governance Concerns

John Stilgoe Office
College

John Stilgoe’s Secret History

Big States, Little States
College

Beyond Boston: Regional Diversity at Harvard