Sampling, surveying at Food Expo

Congratulations to The Michelin Stars of Butler College, victors in the 2017 Tiger Chef Challenge. (Photo: Campus Dining)

Melissa Mirota, registered dietitian for PU, illustrated a month’s worth of food choices available at residential dining halls. (Photo: Rozalie Czesana)

The beef patty on a typical hamburger requires 630 gallons of water to produce. (Photo: Cecila Sheng)

Sea to Table’s Acadian Redfish, bottom, and Spiny Dogfish displayed at Campus Dining’s Food Expo at Dillon. (Photo: Rozalie Czesana)

By ROZALIE CZESANA ‘18

Last Friday, alongside the excitement of the second year of the Tiger Chef Challenge student cooking contest (congratulations to Butler College!), Dillon Gym was also transformed to a bustling food expo, with a steady stream of students stopping to sample foods at booths of Campus Dining vendors and taking time to test their sustainability knowledge in exchange for prizes.

One highlight was tuna ceviche, crafted on the spot by the rep from Mission Foods, which supplies dining halls with a variety of Mexican-themed foods and ingredients.

Alissa Westrvelt of the Brooklyn-based Sea to Table, a seafood distributor that connects small-scale fisheries with clients, displayed Acadian Redfish and Spiny Dogfish, two fish species that Princeton students can taste across the dining halls.

Melissa Mirota, the registered dietitian at PU, presented a National Nutrition Month Scavenger Hunt, in which the Tiger Challenge visitors were invited to explore the nutritional benefits of several foods at the expo: red lentils and quinoa from RC Fine Foods, coffee from Princeton-based Small World and yogurts from Chobani, among others. Participants received a fruit-infuser water bottle. Mirota also supplied a 30 Day Whole Food Challenge poster, which listed a recipe for every day in March. She said she was inspired by Mark Bittman, former food writer at The New York Times who said, ”It’s not the beta-carotene, it’s the carrot. The evidence is very clear that plants promote health.”

At the Greening Dining table hosted by Sarah Bavuso, sustainability manager for Campus Dining, students, faculty, and other visitors picked up a full backpack to feel the weight of the amount of food wasted by an average student during one month: 22.8 pounds. Visitors also learned how much water it takes to produce one burger, in which the vast majority of water consumption comes from the meat patty. Visitors also could take a survey regarding their opinions about food waste and sustainability and hear more about transparency in ingredient procurement. (Greening Dining is a student group that works with Campus Dining to make Princeton dining as sustainable as possible.)

Farm to Fork shrinks to a few steps

Rozalie Czesana '18, at work planting microgreens seeds in the Urban Cultivator. (Photo by Sarah Salati Bavuso, Campus Dining Services)

Rozalie Czesana ’18, at work planting microgreens seeds in the Urban Cultivator. (Photo by Sarah Salati Bavuso, Campus Dining Services)

Seedlings at 4 days!

Seedlings at 4 days!

IMG_4915Thanks to Rozalie Czesana ’18 and to Campus Dining Services, customers at Frist’s Cafe Vivian may soon be treated to tastes of intensely local basil, kale, peas, broccoli and radish microgreens.

Czesana, with Sarah Salati Bavuso of CDS, planted seeds in the Urban Cultivator, a hydroponic garden system about the size of a wardrobe, in hopes of growing the leafy greens, but also to encourage conversation on sustainable food systems.

“Small-scale indoor agriculture has the potential to contribute to feeding entire communities when implemented on larger scale,” says Czesana, citing AeroFarms as an example.

See Czesana’s piece that CDS published here (thanks to Sarah and the team!). See the YouTube video on growing basil here.

Class for beginner cooks

Nicholas Wu

Nicholas Wu

Real World Princeton, a part of the Undergraduate Student Government organization, is pairing with the Cooking Club, Murray-Dodge Cafe and Dining Services to offer workshops for undergraduates who are beginner cooks. Subjects include how to pick groceries, safely prepare food, and construct a meal on a budget.

The workshops will be taught by Nicholas Wu ’18 at the Fields Center Kitchen and are organized by Cailin Hong, USG representative and Paul Yang ’17, Cooking Club president.

On Sunday, participants made asparagus and pasta. On Wednesday, April 20, Wu will teach participants how to make lentil soup and salmon. Class is from 4:30-6pm. Space is limited to 12 participants per session; sign up here. For more information, write Cailin Hong, cailinh@princeton.edu.

Exploring food & America’s racial dynamic

 

Neopolitan-style pizza: From left, Chelsea Johnson, Class of 2018; Alexander Schindele-Murayama, Class of 2016; Dominique Ibekwe, Class of 2016; and Cordelia Orillac, Class of 2015, get a lesson in making traditional Neapolitan pizza dough from Chef Rick Piancone in the kitchen of Rockefeller and Mathey colleges. "We wanted to do pizza because it's a familiar comfort food that has been very commercialized. The chefs taught us how the art and craft in traditional Neapolitan pizza compares with the U.S. version and how the taste changes," said Ibekwe.

Neopolitan-style pizza: From left, Chelsea Johnson, Class of 2018; Alexander Schindele-Murayama, Class of 2016; Dominique Ibekwe, Class of 2016; and Cordelia Orillac, Class of 2015, get a lesson in making traditional Neapolitan pizza dough from Chef Rick Piancone in the kitchen of Rockefeller and Mathey colleges. “We wanted to do pizza because it’s a familiar comfort food that has been very commercialized, said Ibekwe. “The chefs taught us how the art and craft in traditional Neapolitan pizza compares with the U.S. version and how the taste changes.” – Photo by Danielle Alio, Office of Communications

Professor Anne Cheng '85

Professor Anne Cheng ’85

With “Literature, Food, and the American Racial Diet,” in the spring 2015 semester, Professor Anne Cheng ’85 encouraged her 133 students to research the relationship between food and America’s racial dynamic across society, culture and history, but the students’ final projects weren’t limited to research papers. They also included a food lesson and a tasting.

As Jamie Saxon from the Office of Communications writes:

“Assignments included writing analytical essays, experimenting with food writing, and conducting research into the history of food, which, noted Cheng, is often a history of imperialism and colonization. For their final project, students went food shopping, rolled up their sleeves and created dishes that illustrated some aspect of how food interacts with racial identity.

Divided into 30 small teams, the students discussed readings and shared their own experiences with culture and food. As part of a new Campus Dining initiative led by Executive Director Smitha Haneef to support students’ academic experience, each team was paired with a chef who advised them on food ingredients, preparation and presentation. The dishes were presented and tasted at the “Princeton Feast” held April 30 in the Frist Campus Center.”

See the Princeton Alumni Weekly feature here and Campus Dining’s account here.

 

Reunions: Food Obsessed in America?

Roberta Isleib ’75, Author, alias Lucy Burdette, will join Jill Baron ’80, Integrative and Functional Medicine Physician; Beth Quatrano Diamond ’85, Founder, Cooking for a Change; Lydia Itoi ’90, Food and Travel Journalist; Kerry Saretsky ’05, Corporate Strategy Director-Global, HarperCollins Publishers, and Blogger at FrenchRevolutionFood.com; Katie Seaver ’10, Intuitive Eating Coach for a forum, “Food Obsessed in America?” on Saturday, May 30, from 10:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. at Frist 302. Smitha Haneef, Executive Director, Campus Dining, is scheduled to moderate.

Finding quinoa on campus

Julie Goldstein writes about quinoa (keen-wah), which she has found in good supply at dining sites across campus:

“Quinoa has proven to be one of the biggest food trends of the 21st century. Although its popularity may be associated with the recent decades, this grain has been around for quite some time. The cultivation of quinoa can be traced back to the ancient civilizations of Andes in South America, with its use as a food source starting around 4000 BCE….The grain is known to have a high nutritional value, containing all the essential amino acids along with particularly high concentrations of protein. Quinoa also has significant amounts of iron and zinc, and is a good source of dietary fiber.” Read more, and see pictures of quinoa dishes here.

– Julie Goldstein, Spoon University