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Jason Jay

San Francisco

Current Food Obsession
Mizumochi (watermochi)


Jason Jay

Jason Jay
"Like a disability, food can cut across ethnic, social, cultural, racial and economic lines. Food is an equal opportunity provider where everyone is welcome."

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Food Studies?

Due to a catastrophic accident in the professional kitchen, which caused a visual impairment, I decided to go back to school to pursue a graduate degree in Food Studies to prepare me for possible administrative, health or education work within the food industry.

What topic have you found most compelling in your studies?
I discovered I really enjoy reading literature which is based on personal food memory experiences or about the history of a local food, such as the abundance of seafood that was available in the San Francisco Bay Area during the Gold Rush period.

What is something that has surprised you about the field of Food Studies?
Food Studies isn't only about the study of food ingredients or methods of cooking, but also about gustatory experiences, the policies and laws behind edible ingredients, and how the culinary world is continuously being innovated through the advancement of technology.

What is one of your favorite San Francisco food experiences?

After studying about San Francisco restaurant history and the Tadich Grill last semester, I decided to check it out this year to get a taste of history. There were no disappointments when I tasted the cioppino, dungeness crab, and fresh oysters. 

What is your thesis project? 
Currently my thesis project is titled "Traversing the Blind Kitchen".  My thesis presents the study of how the blind and the visually impaired experience food provisioning and preparation. This study explores how modern technologies and what types of sensory training are used to help these groups of people navigate their way through a kitchen and grocery store environment.

How do you envision putting this degree to work? 
As a visually impaired individual, I would like to educate or consult with physically challenged individuals who would like to pursue a career in the food industry.