The smell of spices and sizzling sound of exotic foods could be noticed throughout the Student Center last Monday.
As a part of the The Global Chef program run by Sodexo, chefs from around the world will visit Keene State College and other colleges to teach the dining hall staff how to make dishes from their countries.
General manager of the dining commons Josef Quirinale said that KSC has brought in chefs from about 15 countries over the past ten years this program has been on campus.
This week featured Piotr Bronikowski from Poland and Naveen Achanta from India.
Bronikowski served Polish pancakes with Blinis, served with sour cream and caviar.
“It’s posh because caviar is expensive so you won’t see it in a Polish home, but you can certainly get it in a restaurant,” Bronikowski said.
Regarding the differences between food in Poland and in the U.S., Bronikowski said that food here is much more diverse.
“You have all sorts of dishes from around the globe really, because there is influence of immigrants, and each of them bring something to it,” Bronikowski said, “Our food is not as vibrant…we only really use salt and pepper, whereas you guys will use loads and loads of spices.
Additionally, Achanta prepared a lamb curry served with rice.
In contrast to Polish food, Achanta said that Indian food was very diverse, mainly due to the use of spices.
“We have a lot of choices, a lot of varieties, blends of spices together, different colors in the dishes…just a mix-match of everything with a lot of diversity,” Achanta said.
The global chef program teaches chefs at the dining commons to learn how to make these dishes so they can continue to serve them to students, according to Quirinale.
Quirinale said that the global chefs come in and train dining staff from here and other colleges to prepare these exotic cuisines with the purpose of introducing students to foods from other countries.
“When you go to the DC and have paella, [a global chef] came from Spain four years ago and taught us how to make it the real way…That’s the neat thing, the chef’s come and teach us how to make the foods from their country and then the food’s keep showing up in the DC,” Quirinale said.
Concerning student response to the global chef program, KSC senior Abbie Sweatt said that she was pleased with the selection of exotic food.
“It’s really good. It’s fun to have different food,” Sweatt said. In addition, KSC sophomore Selena Lefebvre said that she likes the idea of the program. “I like having this opportunity to try different foods from different cultures. I’ve never tried any of this stuff before and it really kind of opens my mind to different cultures.
Looking forward, Quirinale said that Achanta will return to KSC on the week of Feb. 29, to bring more Indian cuisine to campus. “Look for more dishes coming up,” Achanta said.
As for the student response, Lefebvre said that she would definitely try exotic foods from global chefs again.
“These are amazing. I’m probably going to get another one of those pancakes,” Lefebvre said.
Devon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org