Vanderbilt is Training Our Next Generations of Home Cooks



I don't know about you, but when I was in college, cooking in the dorm was more about innovation and ingenuity than actual technique. I can vouch from personal experience that it is possible to cook Beefaroni in one of those old orange hot pots that were intended only for heating water, and that you can make both bacon and a grilled cheese sandwich using a cheap iron from Target. (Don't try this at home, kids.)

By my senior year, I finally moved into a nice dorm that had an open kitchen full of awesome industrial cooking equipment that we had full access to and a pantry that was always stocked with sundries, staples and treat. A friend of mine referred to it as "the endless Pop-Tart." The transition from single burner to industrial stove was probably more dangerous than it was worth, and you'd be amazed by how big a mess a couple of drunk college kids can make in a professional kitchen making a Philly cheesesteak.

At Vanderbilt University, they are apparently much more refined than we were on the left coast, and I'm not just talking about our marching band. At Vandy, they are seeking to prepare their students for a career out of the nest and introduce a little competitive spirit through a program they call Kitchenventions. A trio of clever Commodores hosts a recurring Iron Chef-esque competition cooking show that is aired on the university's student channel, VTV.

All the episodes are also available for on-demand viewing online here, but I know you're probably going to click over to the SexRX show anyway. You can enjoy the Dr. Ruth Jr. show if you'd like, but you'll miss out on some pretty impressive cooking on Kitchenventions, especially considering that they're cooking in dorm/apartment kitchens.

The students seem quite thoughtful in their food choices, shopping lists and recipe development, and they include some of their recipes online if you see something you like. I've always believed that nobody should be able to graduate from college without at least some basic instruction in cooking, personal accounting and small engine repairs, and these kids seem pretty well-prepared to impress future suitors with their kitchen prowess. As Red Green used to say, "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."

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