SMU Frats Bring in Gourmet Chefs

(For the first sentence, please read using the voice of my 75-year-old grandfather Walter, who grew up in Queens)

Back in my day, college food meant two things: soda and starch.

(Switch back to normal voice)

Pasta and potatoes were the menu de rigueur, vessels for the usual assortment of loaves, parmesans, stir-frys and surprises that dotted the menu. Occasionally my friends and I would raid the leftovers of a banquet or feign interest in the Caribbean Students Association, hoping for lukewarm finger sandwiches or jerk chicken.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this headline in the Wall Street Journal today:

Dude, Those Candied Walnuts Go Great at a Kegger: Chefs Move Frat Food Beyond the Beer Nut; A Bone to Pick With the Osso Buco

The school in question? Our own Southern Methodist University. The article also brings up the haute cuisine dotting frat houses at the University of Washington and Cornell University.

The menu at SMU’s Sigma Phi Epsilon?

…free-range ribeye steak with rosemary-infused red potatoes, fresh spinach and strawberry salad with candied walnuts and a raspberry vinaigrette and homemade apple pie à la mode

Maybe I missed something, but isn’t part of the allure of college eating crappy food, then drinking crappy beer?

(Turn back on the “Walter” voice)

I once survived an entire week on Utz Party Mix, with its food pyramid of pretzels, cheese balls, tortilla chips, and some sort of Dorito knockoff. Dinner that same year usually consisted of three boxes of Zatarains, two bags of frozen mixed veggies, and a pack of Nathans, cooked in one pot. And we left that damn pot on the stove all week, until it was gone.

Somebody get me a Natural Light.

One thought on “SMU Frats Bring in Gourmet Chefs

  • March 11, 2011 at 11:55 am
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    I have to say that we had a pretty awesome chef at our house (2003 grad from UT). They were a catering business that needed an industrial kitchen, so they got a kitchen + a guaranteed contract and we got good food. He was from New Orleans, he was bald and fat, and his name was Happy. We had excellent cajun food at least once a week.

    And since you brought up the topic of Utz. You know the giant container that’s only cheese puff balls? Well, a guy in the front seat probably ate about 200 of them and then the we decided that we should count all of the remaining balls (road trip, bored). There were only 1,122 remaining, but the label’s serving size x servings yielded something like 1,800. So, either that guy in the front seat had worse munchies than we could estimate, or Utz is scamming the world out of millions of expected cheese puff balls. I called customer service (again, bored) and they hung up when I lodged my complaint. That is all.

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