Sarah Portnoy received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Romance Languages and Literatures in 2005. Since 2007, Dr. Portnoy has been teaching in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Southern California, where she has developed community-based Food Studies classes on Latino food culture in Los Angeles and food justice. During May 2017, Dr. Portnoy will teach a USC course on food culture and food activism in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Over the past few years, Dr. Portnoy has been invited to publish food-related articles and essays in peer-reviewed books and journals. In 2014, she published “Mexican American Cuisine” for the Oxford University Press’ Latino Studies Bibliography. In 2015, she published “Authenticity (of cuisines)” in the SAGE Encyclopedia of Food Issues. Most recently, she co-wrote “Roy Choi, Ricardo Zárate, and Pacific Fusion Cuisine in Los Angeles” with historian Jeffrey Pilcher for the 2016 volume of essays, Global Latin America (UC Press). Her latest book publication is Food, Health and Culture in Latino Los Angeles (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).
Dr. Portnoy has received grants from the USC Good Neighbors Campaign to work with local community organizations. In 2015-2016, she served as the USC representative to Proyecto Jardín, a community garden in Boyle Heights. This grant engaged students with the Latino community of Boyle Heights. During 2016-2017, her students are working with members of Groceryships, a local non-profit, that teaches community members how to improve their nutrition and wellbeing.
In her spare time, Dr. Portnoy spends time with her 2 children, Salomón and Arturo, her dog Dante, and her husband Ben. She likes to cycle, practice yoga, eat great food in Los Angeles, and explore the outdoors.