Who is K. Dun Gifford?

K Dun Gifford was born in 1939.

I first met him in the early 1990s. Julia Child introduced me to Dun. Over the years, he would attend cooking demonstrations or conferences at BU.

He had very interesting careers following graduation from law school. He worked in Washington in the Office of Housing and Development on Urban Renewal and Inner city developments for a few years.

Afterwards he served as a legislative assistant to Ted Kennedy and when Bobby Kennedy was seeking his presidential bid he was one of his prime assistants.

He moved to Boston in 1970 and became involved with commercial real estate and with the restaurant business. One such restaurant was the Harvest Square, an establishment that introduced some of our best young New England chefs and became a model for the beginnings of excellent cuisine in Boston.

He then became very interested in Wine and Food after having done a project on food research in Italy and China not only on the quality of food but the impact of the culture on healthy and sustainable food products.

In 1990 he created Oldways, a non-profit organization whose mission was and is to promote healthier eating. Along with Nancy Harmon Jenkins who introduced The Mediterranean Diet into our culture, Dun and others had he vision to inspire good health through cultural food traditions, by introducing people to attend conferences, educational programs and trips that promote models for balanced and sustainable diets.

He also co-authored a cookbook by Sara Baer-Sinnot, The Oldways Table: Essays and Recipes from the Culinary Think-Tank. Dun died in 2010, but his good work continues.

I am delighted and honored to receive an award in Dun Gifford’s name.

Rebecca Alssid, 2018 Recipient of the K. Dun Gifford “Local Hero” Award