Rhodes Students Put On Their Chef Hats
Publication Date: 3/30/2010
The Rhodes Student Government’s Food Committee is giving students the opportunity to polish their skills in the kitchen. The committee has teamed up with ARAMARK to offer monthly cooking classes, in which a chef from the Refectory (the Rat) teaches students how to create unique ethnic dishes. ARAMARK currently features the classes on its website.
Committee chair Dan Shrader says, “We started these cooking classes because we had a new chef come in from Thailand. Chef Tim Wimonnimit is an expert at cooking Thai food, so we thought it’d be cool to have a Thai cooking class since we’ve never experienced Thai food here at Rhodes.”
For the class, Chef Tim prepared a menu of California rolls, Tum Kha soup, chicken and tofu Pad Thai, and fried plantains. Each student was given an individual work station, and under Chef Tim’s guidance as a certified sushi roller, they successfully made their own sushi. Next, he showed the students how to make the other dishes, explaining the ingredients and answering questions as he went along. At the end of the class, Chef Tim gave the students a copy of all the recipes so that they could cook the dishes at home on their own.
The first class proved to be very popular with the student body, and the committee hopes that other classes will be just as successful. “Within 30 minutes of sending out the email, I had all ten spots fill up, and I had a waitlist of about 30 people. Everyone really enjoyed participating in the class,” says Shrader.
Christina Cooke, a senior at Rhodes, participated in the class along with nine other students. Cooke says, “This was the best food I’ve had at Rhodes College. In a word, it was amazing! I can’t wait to start making Thai food on my own.”
The classes are part of the food committee’s role as a liaison between the students and ARAMARK. This group of six students filters complaints, advances ideas, and discusses potential changes in food services. Shrader says, “We’re offering these classes to get students into the Rat in order to de-mystify the kitchen and to show people that it’s a clean, friendly environment. We also want people to meet the chefs and get to know them. Students eat the food, but they don’t know who cooks it, so we’re trying to create more transparency.”
The next cooking class will feature an Italian menu and will be taught by Chef Sam Sciara, the head chef for the Rat. In addition to the monthly classes, the food committee plans to start incorporating more of these ethnic foods into the regular menu by having themed days, such as Thai Day (April 15th at lunch) and Mexican Day.
(Information compiled by Rhodes Student Associate Brianna McCullough ′10.)