Most of us know one recipe: cereal plus milk equals breakfast. Some select students, however, are better suited for Top Chef, cooking dishes most people can’t even pronounce.
Culinary interest was sparked through various reasons. Some students began cooking with their parents when they were little.
“I’ve kind of always liked to help my mom cook,” senior Emma Devine said.
Others learned their passion for cooking more recently.
“Freshman year I had mono[nucleosis virus] so I stayed around and watched the Food Network because nothing else was on,” senior Daniel Cooper said.
Both Devine and Cooper have decided to further pursue their interests through their Humanities and Arts Program Senior Independent Project, or SIP. Devine’s SIP is about the famous chef Julia Child who has acted as an inspiration for her cooking. Cooper’s SIP focuses on the recent food movement and agricultural trends.
“I really like food and the local food movement is really big in restaurants now, so I thought it would be an interesting topic,” Cooper said.
Knowing how to cook has many benefits.
“It’s easy, fun, exciting and it makes people happy,” freshman Peter Nelson said.
Another senior that is making his way through the student cooking industry is Earl Lee. His fascination with eating healthy came about when he joined cross country as a freshman.
“I started reading a lot of running magazines when I was about 14 and they have a lot of nutritional recipes in them. I wanted to eat healthier because I was running a lot, so I figured I’d give them a try,” Lee said.
According to Lee, pasta is the easiest to cook, but his favorite culinary creation is a unique dish called watermelon caviar.
“I read about it in a magazine,” Lee said. “You use a safe chemical to create orbs of watermelon juice. So it’s basically juice on the inside, but it’s covered in this filmy type of stuff.”
Lee cooks for his family often because he is the only one in his family who considers cooking a hobby.
“I improvise a lot when cooking,” Lee said. If he is missing an ingredient, Lee, and our other student cooks, often improvise and use an ingredient similar to the one in the original recipe. “In the end, what I make looks different than the picture, but it tastes good anyway.”