Professor Emeritus Barbara Santich

Professor Emeritus Barbara Santich
 Position Professor Emeritus
 Org Unit School of Humanities
 Telephone +61 4 1267 1058
 Location Napier ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    Barbara Santich initiated the Graduate Program in Food Studies to begin in 2012 and designed its new curriculum. Previously she planned the Graduate Program in Gastronomy and developed the core courses which were first offered to online students in 2002. She also teaches in the Graduate Certificate in Food Writing.


    Born and educated in NSW, she gained her first degree at the University of NSW (B.Sc. Hons I). Her interest in food and eating was initially stimulated by her study of biochemistry and eventually, under the influence of Waverley Root (The Food of France) and Elizabeth David (French Provincial Cooking) and travels in Europe (France in particular), she began a career which has continued for over thirty years. Her fascination with languages and France developed into a sympathy with the ancient languages of Mediterranean France, which in turn led to a BA (University of Minnesota) and PhD (Flinders University of SA). Her thesis, Two Languages, Two Cultures, Two Cuisines investigated the foods and cuisine of Mediterranean France in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.


    France and Australia remain at the centre of Barbara's research interests. Her most recent book is Bold Palates: Australia's Gastronomic Heritage (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2012). This book explores the stories behind the foods, dishes, ways of cooking and ways of eating that are considered distinctively and characteristically Australian, from indigenous ingredients such as kangaroo and native currants to the now-Australianised pumpkin and passionfruit and the very Australian inventions of puftaloons and mango & papaw chutney. Not only a gastronomic history, it is also a history of Australia and Australians.


    Barbara Santich has successfully supervised two recent PhD candidates at the University of Adelaide: Sarah Black (’Tried and Tested’: community cookbooks in Australia, 1890-1980) and Leonie Ryder (Incorrigible colonist: ginger in Australia, 1788-1950).


    As a food writer Barbara Santich has contributed to numerous Australian newspapers and magazines as well as overseas publications including The Journal of Gastronomy, Petits Propos Culinaires, the New York Times and Slow (quarterly magazine of the International Slow Food Movement). She contributed extensively to the Oxford Companion to Food, edited by Alan Davidson, has presented papers at many Australian and overseas conferences, and is a regular participant at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery.


    Barbara is a member of the Editorial Board of Petits Propos Culinaires and, until it ceased publication in 2007, was also on the Editorial Advisory Board of Slow. She was the founding chair of the Scientific Commission for the Australian Ark of Taste (2003-2007).


    In 2005 Barbara was awarded both the inaugural Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence and the University's Stephen Cole The Elder Prize for Excellence in Teaching.  

  • Publications

    1.  Bold Palates:  Australia's Gastronomic Heritage (Adelaide:  Wakefield Press, 2012)

    2.  Looking for Flavour (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 1996; second enlarged edition 2009) 

    3.  In the Land of the Magic Pudding: A gastronomic miscellany (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2000)

    4.  Apples to Zampone (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 1996; second revised edition 1999)

    5.  McLaren Vale: Sea & Vines (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 1998)

    6.  The Original Mediterranean Cuisine: Medieval recipes for today (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 1995; and Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1996)

    7.  What the Doctors Ordered: 150 years of dietary advice in Australia (Melbourne: Hyland House, 1995)


    Recent publications by Barbara Santich

    Michael Guerard on French Cuisine. Gastronomica 12, no.3 (2012), 78-80.

    Nineteenth-century experimentation and the role of indigenous foods in Australian food culture. Australian Humanities Review, issue 51, November 2011.

    Doing words': The evolution of culinary vocabulary. In Food and Language: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2009, ed. Richard Hosking. Totnes: Prospect Books, 2010.

    A la Recherche de la tomate perdue. In The Gastronomica Reader, ed Darra Goldstein. Berkeley: University of California Press,  2010.

    Margaret at the Woman's Day. In Margaret Fulton: A Celebration. Canberra: Friends of the National Library Inc, 2007: 33-40.

    Banks' Turtle: Food in History, History in Food. In Dining on Turtles: Food, Feasts and Drinking in History, eds. Diane Kirkby and Tanja Luckins. Basingstoke, Hampshire and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

    The Encyclopaedic Egg. In Eggs: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2006, ed. Richard Hosking. Totnes: Prospect Books, 2007.

    The Study of Gastronomy: A Catalyst for Cultural Understanding. The International Journal of the Humanities 5, issue 6 (2007): 53-58.

    Australian Food Innovations. Food Australia 59, nos. 1-2 (2007): 41-45.

    Hospitality and Gastronomy: Natural Allies. In Hospitality: A Social Lens, eds. Conrad Lashley and Alison Morrison. Amsterdam; Boston : Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006.

    The Communities of Food Scholars. Moving Wor(l)ds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings, 6, no. 2 (2006): 6-13.

    The High and the Low: Australian Cuisine in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries. In Culinary Distinction, eds. Emma Costantino and Sian Supski. Journal of Australian Studies, no. 87 (2006): 37-49.

    With Fork and Pen in Nineteenth-century Paris. Bibliofile 11, no. 4 (2006).

    Paradigm shifts in the history of dietary advice in Australia. Nutrition & Dietetics 62, no. 4 (2005): 152-157.

    French Food and Fashion at the End of the Nineteenth Century: The View from Colonial Australia. In Gastronomic Encounters, eds. A Lynn Martin and Barbara Santich. Adelaide: East Street Publications, 2004: 62-69.

    The study of gastronomy and its relevance to hospitality education and training. International Journal of Hospitality Management 23, no. 1 (2004): 15-24.

    Revenge, cannibalism and self-denial. Food & History 1, no. 1 (2003): 85-94.

    Why study gastronomy? Meanjin 61, no. 4 (2002): 171-174.

    Meals and Morality, in The Meal: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2001, ed. Harlan Walker. Totnes: Prospect Books, 2002: 206-215.

    Regionalism and Regionalisation in Food in Australia, Rural Society 12, no. 1 (2002): 5-16.

    Royal power and gastronomic innovation. In Food and Power. Proceedings of the Ninth Symposium of Australian Gastronomy. Sydney, 2002: 64-69.

    Snake Tavern, in Slow Food, ed. Carlo Petrini. White River Junction VT: Chelsea Green, 2001: 122-124.


    Books by Barbara Santich

  • Media Expertise

    CategoriesArts & Culture, History
    ExpertiseFood history and culinary history in general and in particular, relating to Australia and France; Australian food culture; culinary culture; gastronomy; food writing
    NotesBarbara Santich is a member of the Editorial Board of Petits Propos Culinaires. Her book on Australian eating traditions, Bold Palates: Australia's Gastronomic Heritage (2012), was shortlisted in the Non-fiction category of the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

    In 2007 Barbara introduced courses in food writing at the university of Adelaide.
    Mobile0412 671 058

The information in this directory is provided to support the academic, administrative and business activities of the University of Adelaide. To facilitate these activities, entries in the University Phone Directory are not limited to University employees. The use of information provided here for any other purpose, including the sending of unsolicited commercial material via email or any other electronic format, is strictly prohibited. The University reserves the right to recover all costs incurred in the event of breach of this policy.

Entry last updated: Tuesday, 29 Mar 2022

To link to this page, please use the following URL: