“Where did you train to be a chef?” a woman asks me. It’s our first time working together and she’s never seen me in the kitchen before. I’m completely blown away by the fact that she thinks I’m some kind of professional chef. “Nowhere” I respond, trying to hide the fact that I’m so flattered.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that coming to University again would lead me to cooking 3-course meals in a well-stocked kitchen for 50, 100, even 150 people in a single night. I’ve always harbored some kind of passion for food (haven’t we all) but I never thought I’d have the ability or courage to the opportunity to cook for so many people.
The nations work hard to offer food worthy of the grand halls, fancy dinners and prestigious guests one oftens finds at a gasque. Anything from a toned-down sexa to a 5-course May dinner, there are a plethora of dinners to cater for. The nations are available to rent out for special events with pre-designed menus and helpful students (like me!) offer their assistance as a part-time job.
The pub restaurants at the nations are also always in need of chefs to help out – and every nation has their own take on the burger, be it halloumi or bean or jalapeno. The person in charge of making those decisions, the menu for a gasque to the burger recipe, is the kitchen master. Applied, elected and full-time, they never stop living, breathing, tasting food.
I’ve been able to ‘take-over’ the restaurant for a few nights with my own Italian menu. A treat to serve hundreds of pasta dishes, lasagnes and tiramisus. Last summer, I worked with one of my best friends to run the nation’s summer restaurant, full-time, for three months and I’ll be doing it again this year. It’s exciting, it’s challenging and it’s something I’ll likely never do again!
And especially as I was able to fulfil my dream of making a cookie chandelier. Definitely something I’ll never be trying again.