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Palomar College Learning For Success


in the Design and Manufacturing Technologies Department


Dr. Margaret Gunther

Webpage 7 Dr. Margaret Gunther

Professor Emeritus

 Courses Taught: FCS 150-Food and Culture, FCS 165-Fundamentals of Nutrition

Margaret was born in Brooklyn and spent her early years in Forest Hills, on Long Island, New York.  Growing up among families of different nationalities and religions instilled a lifelong appreciation of the culture and customs of food.  Lox and bagels, borsch, gefilte fish, and matzo ball soup were more common than meat loaf.  Many families “kept kosher” and observed the Jewish Holidays.  Her family moved to Colorado Springs for a rocky mountain lifestyle with very little cultural diversity when she was 12. At that time, there was only one Chinese restaurant in town.  For good Italian food, it was necessary to drive 70 miles to Denver.

At Colorado State she met her future husband while both were cast in the drama “Berkeley Square” in a campus production.  Two days after graduation with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Foods and Nutrition, she married and journeyed to Greenville, Mississippi to start life as an Air Force officer’s wife.  They moved 19 times during the five years of military service, living in Montgomery, Alabama, Rapid City, South Dakota, Merced, California, Houston and Wichita Falls Texas, and Biloxi, Mississippi where their son was born.

When her husband returned to teach electrical engineering at Colorado State, Margaret earned a Master of Science Degree in nutrition.  A second child, a daughter, was born in Fort Collins.  Another job change took the family to Colorado Springs and then to San Diego, where their second daughter was born.

Margaret started her teaching career at Palomar Community College with a class she developed called “Fight Inflation with Creative Cookery”.  The students brought electric fry pans from home for the class which was taught in a physics lab.  Needless to say, they blew out all of the power in the building one night.  The Vocational Education Division wanted to start a Family and Consumer Sciences Department so a position was created and Margaret was hired.  Initially she taught all of the classes with the exception of Interior Design.  The department grew and additional faculty was hired.

While teaching at Palomar, Margaret earned her Doctor of Education Degree from the University of Southern California with a major in Educational Administration and a minor in Curriculum Development.  She is also a Registered Dietitian.

Margaret loves to travel and has enjoyed cooking classes all over the world.  Particularly interesting were the classes in Chinese Cookery at the Chinese Cuisine Training Institute in Hong Kong and Indonesian spice cookery in Bali.  An opera fan, she recently took classes at the Great News Cooking School that showcased dishes that might have been served in the locale of the opera being presented.

She has sailed around the world twice and visited kitchens and galleys around the world from ships at sea, to restaurants in Russia, China, Laos, Italy, Egypt, Dubai, South America, Mexico, etc.   Margaret has first-hand experience in the taste of exotic foods, from whale blubber in Greenland to insects in Mexico.