Paula Gray

Paula Gray

Paula Gray

Anthropologist-in-Residence, Association of International Product Marketing & Management

From classical brigade kitchens to ethnographic fieldwork, from the study of Escoffier to the study of Mead, Paula Gray has traded in her chef’s knife kit for the anthropologist’s toolbox.  The culinary arts were a perfect training ground for the future anthropologist.  In the male-dominated world of chefs in the 1990’s Paula held her own by understanding the cultural framework of those intense, demanding kitchens.  She recognized that each kitchen had its own culture, language and shared values and beliefs.  So when she returned to school to study anthropology she was well equipped to recognize those cultural universals.

Paula now takes her knowledge of anthropology, human interaction and cultural framework and helps product managers, brand managers and marketers get what she calls a “deeper than demographics” holistic view of their customer and their corporate culture.  She believes that any time humans are involved in a process, anthropology can yield insight.

Her favorite saying is “I’m an anthropologist, nothing humans do surprises me.”