Every term I hear about various campus-wide events, but rarely do I attend them. Sometimes, I feel like does anyone really attend them? Surely there’s some turnout, or they would stop hosting them, but I’ve hosted events that only two of my friends have attended. I suppose that every student can be indifferent. That’s why when I walked into the Zero Waste Cooking Show at FEDS Hall I was shocked to see a packed house.
I found out about the show on the UW Sustainability Instagram (@uwsustainable) which I discovered when doing research for my Shift Zero article. I’ll be honest, they got me with the promise of free food, but I signed right up. Who doesn’t want to learn how to use all the parts of a potato? I thought, however, that I was part of an exclusive club of people (approx. 1,100 followers) who would know about this cooking show. I thought I would be getting all of the free food samples. To my surprise, I saw on Facebook that many of my friends had also said they would be going, and talking to people I found others who had heard about this event! Can I just say, props to the advertising manager because clearly they are doing a killer job.
Upon entering the room, I was drawn to a table full of glass water dispensers in which floated cranberries and what I at first thought were slices of potato… they were ginger. I found myself a seat in the balcony upstairs because the main floor was tightly packed and waited for the action to begin as tempting scents wafted up to me from below. Javier Alacro, Executive Chef with UW Food Services, took the stage and managed to deliver smart tips and funny quips while cooking up a fast “dirty” mashed potato and pulled chicken with cauliflower rice made several ways.
At last it was time to try the dishes. Along with Javier’s dinner there were six other chefs who had prepared a variety of things to try. I tried all of them and I can describe them for you. We had some biko (a Filipino coconut-rice cake), barley pudding (similar to rice pudding but… tastier?), potato skin fries with different dips, noodle and veggie salmon salad, carrot and celery loaf with clotted cream and roe, and my favourite on a frigid day like Nov 12, a delicious rice veggie soup. If I thought it was a shame so many people were there because I wouldn’t get any samples… well, it’s true the lines were long but there was plenty of food to go around and it was all great.
I’m loving the moves Food Services and the Sustainability Office are making on campus, definitely follow @uwsustainable on Insta for more events!