Top French university offers Masters course in ‘drinking, eating and living’

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Others modules cover food charities and sexual harassment in the kitchen in the wake of a recent wave of #Metoo-style complaints of abuse by macho, dictatorial chefs.

Essays so far have focused on subjects such as aquaculture as a response to overfishing, the power of organic labels, vegetarian “meat”, as well as drier subjects like the history of farming, food security in the European Union and agribusiness strategies.

In parallel, students attend offbeat conferences, such as on “umami and the secrets of the fifth flavour” by Fabrizio Bucella, sommelier and professor at the Free University of Brussels or another by Dajo Aertssen, runner up in the world coffee tasting championship on “what is a good coffee?”

“Here we propose to do things seriously without taking ourselves seriously,” Sciences Po head Pierre Mathiot told Le Monde.

Deliveroo role-plays

The students also take part in role-plays where one plays the TV journalist and the others play bosses of food delivery companies including Uber Eats and the French equivalent, Deliveroo. They are grilled on issues including stock market flotation and often precarious working conditions, hot political topics in France.

Their responses are timed and marked.

Some students confessed to being unsure whether getting stuck into eating, drinking and living it up would really translate into job prospects.

“At first, we asked ourselves whether our future employers would laugh when they saw the heading “drink, eat, live” on our CV,” said one unnamed student in the very first year of the course.

“But given the initial feedback from business, we’re convinced that it will work.”

Indeed, big names in the world of French food are reportedly already lining up to welcome them.

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