Cathy Huyghe, Journalist and Co-Founder, Enolytics
What did you study at Harvard?
First I studied architecture at the Graduate School of Design, and then I went back for a second degree in Journalism.
Were you involved with any food or wine activities while a student?
I learned about Tom Conley’s wine class for second-semester seniors at Kirkland House, and then I learned about the Wine & Cuisine Society at HBS, and then I learned that more than 1000 College students were involved at the time in the Culinary Society. That tipped the scale for me, to decide to start Harvard Alumni in Wine and Food, back in 2009, when I was both an alum (from the GSD) and a student (in Journalism). The idea was to connect this significant student interest in food and wine with alums who are already working in the industry. I organized two trips for students to France, one to Beaune one year and another to Lyon another year, in order to show them what an actual career in wine and food is like. Several of those students are living their lives today in wine and food.
Do you think that Harvard has prepared you for a career in food and wine or hospitality in general? If so, how?
Yes, for sure. The Journalism program obviously prepared me to write about wine for places like Forbes and The Atlantic and the Harvard Business Review. But it was actually the GSD that taught me how to evaluate with each of my senses, and to articulate what I find. There we learn about texture (when we describe the skin of a building or planting choices in a landscape), and smells and sounds (when we describe noise pollution in urban environments), and certainly sight and variations of color.
Most of all Harvard taught me to be a critical thinker, to ask careful questions, to be brave about expressing my own opinions, and to be confident in what I believe.
What work do you do now?
I’m a journalist and an entrepreneur. I’m a contributor for Forbes online about the business and politics of the wine industry; I’m a contributor to Inc.com about entrepreneurs with a focus on women; and I wrote a book called Hungry for Wine: Seeing the World through the Lens of a Wine Glass. I’ve always been a writer and a communicator. Last year I also co-founded a startup called Enolytics, which brings big data services to the wine industry, especially around consumer behavior and sentiment.
I also teach, mainly about storytelling and big data, to MBA students in Bologna and Bordeaux, and I’m an avid practitioner of yoga and meditation.
Websites that are relevant to your work or special interests: