Alice Julier. Photo by David Bernabo.

Alice Julier is making big moves—or should we say, moving big things. Like the entire Chatham University Food Studies department, which recently moved from its campus in the East End to its Eden Hall campus in Gibsonia.

Julier took the helm of Chatham’s Food Studies program in 2010, launching Pittsburgh’s first degree program of its kind. In five years, the program has steadily grown and its graduates have helped fueled our region’s growing energy in food policy and advocacy.

What was Julier’s best meal last week?

It’s been a crazier than usual fall for us. A lot of things going on personally and with work—we moved to a brand new campus in Pine Richland.

 This week, we stayed in and cooked. We got some chickens from a local farmer, we have a great CSA that I pick up from Harvest Valley Farms and my husband brought me some spices from Salim’s. So our go-to comfort meal has been a yogurt, sumac and za’atar marinated chicken that we do on the grill under a brick. 

That’s a technique I learned from my mentor, Arlene Avakian, whose memoir, Lion Woman’s Legacy, was about growing up Armenian American. The book was so full of food that you couldn’t read it without getting hungry. Last time she and her partner fed me, we had chicken marinated in pomegranate. Wow.

This week’s best meal included some roasted purple and blue potatoes from Harvest Valley and I made a sauce with cilantro, lime, sesame oil and garlic. 

We always eat a lot of steamed vegetables like squash or green beans because they’re easy and everyone likes them. Lately, we’ve just been eating in the living room, which is full of books and pillows and lit with white string lights and we binge watch shows on Netflix with lots of cats and a dog looking for handouts.

Looking for Pittsburgh foodies’ other best meals? Click here.

Leah Lizarondo

Leah Lizarondo is a food advocate, writer and speaker. She is also the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that seeks to eliminate food waste to make an impact on hunger and the environment....