I’m Lucia Austria – a Jersey girl with Filipino heritage who calls Boston, MA home. My parents own and operate Filipino-American grocery stores in New Jersey, so food not only served as biological nourishment, but also financial stability and a bridge between my American culture and the life my parents left behind in the Philippines.
Boston College brought me to Beantown, where I earned a B.S. in Business Management with a focus in Marketing and a minor in Human Development. 2009 was the perfect time for a recent grad with a business degree to “find herself” rather than enter the job market (by choice, of course), so I endeavored to immerse myself into the world of food by enrolling in a culinary arts program at Le Cordon Bleu, Boston. There, my mind and taste buds exploded while the soles of my feet weathered to the bone spending days standing in a classroom kitchen and nights hustling in a restaurant kitchen. It was exhilarating, and I will always feel empowered and oddly calm while gripping my knife.
After a brief stint in the food service industry, I did what I never thought I’d actually do–put my undergraduate degree to use by working in the consumer packaged goods industry. I found the opportunity to work for Taza Chocolate by responding to a questionable craigslist ad seeking a candy bar wrapper. Yeah yeah, oompa loompas and Lucille Ball, but yes, I started work at an awesome chocolate factory and eventually worked my way up to the position of Production Manager. While working full-time, I earned a Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy offered through Boston University’s Metropolitan College. There, I focused my work on ethnic food studies in the United States, also earning a Julia Child Scholarship, named after one of the cofounders of the interdisciplinary academic program. Jacques Pépin is the other cofounder (I know what you’re thinking and yes on both counts–he does give off a glow in person and his duck cassoulet est BOMB).
I love food culture, food history, old cookbooks, gardening, greasy calzones, brownie mix in a box, fine dining, and taking shots of pickle brine to put hair on my chest.