By Atene DiLuca
Some may say there is nothing like a home cooked meal that brings people together, and on a college campus, traditional home cooked meals might be hard to come by.
Many freshmen students stick to their meal plans and ditch the stove top directions. However, when it comes to students who live off campus, that point of view can change.
At Sacred Heart University, members of the SHUsine Culinary Club want students to learn basic cooking skills and gain insight into the food industry world.
“Every month the club holds a hands-on cooking demonstration, which allows students an opportunity to learn how to cook a full meal. Each demo has a theme to it. Some themes we have done include cooking on a cheap budget, cooking a meal with common ingredients found in a college dorm room, and even making homemade desserts,” said senior Caroline Burns, President of the Culinary Club.
A group of student ambassadors came up with the idea of creating a cooking club, which soon became a campus-wide initiative.
“The club first started in in 2014 in response to a lot of interest in the culinary arts that our students exhibited. Our purpose behind creating this club is to give the students a chance to talk about food, learn how to cook, and share their interest in the culinary world,” said Robert Gilmore, Advisor and Director of Campus Experience.
Club meetings occur every two weeks on Monday or Wednesday evenings at 8:30 p.m. During these meetings members also learn about the food industry itself while working with Sacred Heart’s catering company, Chartwells.
“During the demo’s, club members work with the Chartwells staff members who demonstrate how to do the cooking, and then each student makes their own dish,” said Burns.
This interactive club gives students the ability to think outside of the box and experiment with dishes they have not made in the past.
“We try to make this available to students in a fun and creative way. I love that members have the opportunity to work hands-on and learn how to make different foods themselves,” said junior Alayna Kaplan, Secretary of the Culinary Club.
At the end of the year, Chartwells also helps the club with a study break for final exams.
“The club is also known for a late-night snack delivery service during finals week, and the late-night food truck service, which is also done by SHUsine members, work alongside Chartwell’s staff,” said Burns.
Many students love the idea of having snack foods available to them anywhere on
campus at just the touch of their fingertips.
“During finals week I am constantly in the library writing essays or cramming for my exams throughout the week, and a midnight snack is the perfect pick-me-up to get through a long night,” said junior Kristen Walton.
As the year progresses, new fundraisers and demos are fast approaching and students are welcome to join in these festivities.
“I hope that the club is able to expand on the different types of opportunities for hands-on culinary experiences for students at the university. I also hope that more students get involved with the club and continue to pursue different types of demos and fundraisers,” said Burns.
Ultimately, the SHUsine Culinary Club hopes that students are left with a very rewarding experience, an open mind and a few unique recipes to use in the future.
“Food is a part of life and we want people to not only involve themselves in that but to celebrate it too, and that is what the whole purpose of this club is,” said Gilmore.