Nicole Ruiz-Hudson, Writer and Educator
What did you study at Harvard?
English and American Literature and Language. (Class of 2002)
Were you involved with any food or wine activities while a student?
I always loved food and would make an effort to get out and explore restaurants whenever my student budget would allow, but sadly I didn’t participate in any related organized classes or activities while I was in undergrad. I was predominantly a drama geek at the time. I admit that I always wanted to take the bar tending class, and have often wished that the Science and Cooking Public Lecture Series were occurring during my time, but those series came much later.
Do you think that Harvard has prepared you for a career in food and wine or hospitality in general? If so, how?
Absolutely! The liberal arts education I received as an undergraduate was so beneficial in training me to think critically across many different areas. Wine and food are such wonderfully interdisciplinary subjects and the ability to draw connections between the many facets is invaluable. Moreover, the chance to meet fellow students from so many places and backgrounds just generally opens your mind to the world, which both inspires curiosity and is likewise always helpful in hospitality.
What work do you do now?
I do several different things. I write for a few different publications, including regularly contributing to the 8&20 recipe pairing series for WineSpectator.com, as well as writing my own blogs. Most recently, I’m one of the organizers launching Bâtonnage, a grassroots day-long forum opening up a conversation about women in wine. I also work part-time at Bay Grape, a community and education focused wine store in Oakland, CA. Additionally, I love to teach people about wine, so I jump at the opportunity to give classes (both on my own and through the shop) whenever I get the chance.
Websites that are relevant to your work or special interests: