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The Science of Cooking

UConn Foundation
UConn Foundation

2 min read

Chef David Bouley ’17H wants you to think about how food makes you feel.

This concept has guided the career of the award-winning New York chef and restauranteur, who was rated number 1 on Zagat and awarded best restaurant in the country by Trip Advisor, along with several James Beard Foundation awards. He has also received lifetime achievement awards from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and the Rogosin Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College, for his efforts in researching and serving foods tailored to diners with health concerns. He works with doctors to develop menus based on the idea that food can be a cure.

“We’ve learned that food is a conversation with the DNA in our bodies,” said Bouley. “We try to educate without making people feel that they have to change their life. The most exciting point that they often tell me is that they weren’t taught to think about food in this way.”

Bouley recently demonstrated his approach to food and wellness during an exclusive Founders and Charles Lewis Beach Society event at the Bouley Test Kitchen in New York City on April 19, hosted by Foundation board member Drew Figdor and his wife, Michelle. As a child, Bouley grew up near UConn and attended E.O. Smith High School. He recently received an honorary degree from UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources in 2017.

“I used to love to go and see the different kinds of classes that were offered,” he said. “I was very interested in the agriculture department. My mother was teaching early childhood education at the University, [and] my sister got her Ph.D. at UConn, so there’s always been a relationship there.”

After graduation, he was the restaurant manager at Pink Adobe in Santa Fe, owned by Rosie Murphy. He credits Murphy for encouraging him to pursue a career as a chef. Bouley studied at the Sorbonne in France, where he fell in love with the country’s food culture.

“I was so seduced by the level of commitment, passion, the relationship with farmers, and the entire environment,” he said. “I wanted to see how I could bring that to the States.”

His restaurants use fresh, organic ingredients in each plate, which is designed to demonstrate how food can improve and impact overall health. His Bouley at Home concept provides the comfort and familiarity of kitchen counters that serve as the dining space. He also offers hands-on cooking classes with professional chefs and doctors.

“People practice and get the teamwork that we’re looking for,” he said. “If you’re going to get healthy, your kitchen is ready for you.”

Bouley has traveled extensively around the world to learn about the healing science of whole foods and nature. It is his life’s work to inspire people to rethink their relationship with food.

“The favorite meal is the one that gives you happiness and enjoyment [and] gives you the same satisfaction hours later,” Bouley said. “It’s the food that makes you wake up one day.”

Chef David Bouley’s Three Tips for At-Home Cooks:

  1. Organize your kitchen: learn how to build a Living Pantry so you can cook meals throughout the week.
  2. Make an effort to buy organic goods. There’s lots of great items and new things on the market to try.
  3. Approach cooking as something that’s fun. Be excited and share food knowledge while you build a community, happy family, and great health.

For more information about Chef David Bouley, visit davidbouley.com.

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Students Inspire Alum to Give Scholarship

Grace Merritt
Grace Merritt

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During a recent visit back to UConn’s School of Engineering, Russ St. John ’80 (ENG) ’85 MBA met several remarkable students he supported with a scholarship donation.

One in particular stood out.

“I remember a young lady who said she wanted to help provide clean water in Latin America. She was talking about taking her education and using it to help lots of people. It was inspiring,” he said.

Russ was so impressed, he decided to give a permanent scholarship to the School of Engineering as part of his legacy. With help from the UConn Foundation, he arranged to leave a gift to the School of Engineering to create the scholarship in his will.

“What better a way to leave a legacy?” he said. “It really attached to my heart right away. I decided this is what I want to do.”

photo of Russ St. John ’80 (ENG), ’85 MBA takes a break while hiking in Nepal
Russ St. John ’80 (ENG), ’85 MBA takes a break while hiking in Nepal

Russ, who was raised in Southington, Conn., was the first in his family to go college. He didn’t receive a scholarship and paid his way through school, balancing his heavy academic load with weekday jobs in a University lab and weekend shifts at a local Howard Johnson’s restaurant. His scholarship will pave a smoother path for other promising engineering students for decades to come.

When he first decided to leave a gift to the University in his estate, he wasn’t sure how to do it. He said the UConn Foundation staff was helpful in outlining his options and explaining the tax benefits of planned gifts, such as IRAs.

“I’d also encourage anyone who is thinking about it to go to the school they graduated from for a tour. Go meet the students and talk to them. It’s inspiring,” he said.

Russ double-majored in mechanical engineering and material science and immediately got a job designing jet engines at GE, where he worked for 21 years. He was then recruited for a job in Minneapolis for Katun, a technology provider for the printing industry. He later joined Entrust Datacard as chief marketing officer.

In their free time, he and his wife, Elaine, a nurse, like to volunteer at a local alternative high school, helping students earn their GEDs. Russ also makes time for travel. In April, he enjoyed a two-week trek in Nepal, hiking up to 15,300 feet in the Himalayas.

“It was quite strenuous,” he said. “It was just a great experience, meeting Buddhist monks, spending time with kind and loving people, and just living very lean.”

Wherever he has gone, his UConn education has been a great passport to success, he said.

“UConn is a great enabler because it offers a superb education that’s cost-effective. But there are students who still need help. Scholarships provide the assistance they need,” he said.

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School of Business Receives Largest Bequest Ever

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By Claire Hall

Alumnus Gordon Flynn ’56, an industrial engineer and research consultant who enjoyed collecting prints, paintings, clocks and unusual artifacts, has left his $1 million estate to the School of Business, the biggest bequest in the school’s history.

“I am really happy that I can help students get their education and get started on their careers,” Flynn told a writer for the UConn Foundation in 2012 in announcing his unrestricted, planned gift. He was motivated to give, in part, he said, because of the rising cost of higher education.

“I’m told that Mr. Flynn appreciated many of the finer things in life, such as art, culture and collectibles. But it strikes me that what he cherished even more was his UConn education and the ability to share that gift with our students,” said School of Business Dean John A. Elliott. “We are tremendously grateful for Mr. Flynn’s unrestricted gift to the School of Business, which will be earmarked for the School’s most imminent needs.”

Flynn graduated with a degree in marketing and started his career with the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. He later joined Safeway Inc., one of the nation’s largest food and drug retailers, which transferred him to San Francisco. He worked for the company for approximately 25 years. He was also a member of the Society of Senior Industrial Engineers of California.

Flynn joined the Catholic Alumni Club, and that’s where he met Jeanne McInnis, a nurse and educator, who would become his wife of 30 years. Together they enjoyed going to the theater, opera, museums and special cultural events, as well as dining in the San Francisco restaurants and touring wine country. They had many close friends, whom they loved to entertain in their Oakland, Calif., home with views of San Francisco Bay. Jeanne Flynn predeceased her husband in 2006.

Flynn, a native of New Haven, Conn., also loved gardening. Flynn died in 2013, but his estate gift just arrived at UConn. His obituary said he was a kind and compassionate man, who will be remembered for his Irish sense of humor.

This story was originally featured in the UConn School of Business newsletter

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Alumnus Gordon Flynn ’56, an industrial engineer and research consultant who enjoyed collecting prints, paintings, clocks and unusual artifacts, has left his $1 million estate to the School of Business, the biggest bequest in the school’s history.

“I am really happy that I can help students get their education and get started on their careers,” Flynn told a writer for the UConn Foundation in 2012 in announcing his unrestricted, planned gift. He was motivated to give, in part, he said, because of the rising cost of higher education.

“I’m told that Mr. Flynn appreciated many of the finer things in life, such as art, culture and collectibles. But it strikes me that what he cherished even more was his UConn education and the ability to share that gift with our students,” said School of Business Dean John A. Elliott. “We are tremendously grateful for Mr. Flynn’s unrestricted gift to the School of Business, which will be earmarked for the School’s most imminent needs.”

Flynn graduated with a degree in marketing and started his career with the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. He later joined Safeway Inc., one of the nation’s largest food and drug retailers, which transferred him to San Francisco. He worked for the company for approximately 25 years. He was also a member of the Society of Senior Industrial Engineers of California.

Flynn joined the Catholic Alumni Club, and that’s where he met Jeanne McInnis, a nurse and educator, who would become his wife of 30 years. Together they enjoyed going to the theater, opera, museums and special cultural events, as well as dining in the San Francisco restaurants and touring wine country. They had many close friends, whom they loved to entertain in their Oakland, Calif., home with views of San Francisco Bay. Jeanne Flynn predeceased her husband in 2006.

Flynn, a native of New Haven, Conn., also loved gardening. Flynn died in 2013, but his estate gift just arrived at UConn. His obituary said he was a kind and compassionate man, who will be remembered for his Irish sense of humor.

Learn more about Charles Lewis Beach Society

Support the UConn School of Business

This story was originally featured in the UConn School of Business newsletter

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Connect with fellow Huskies
Don't miss out on alumni events and more

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