As a high school student looking at universities, I remember visiting a few different colleges. There were always the main questions I would ask, about class sizes, professors, things to do on and off campus, etc. However, one of the most vital questions I would ask was this:
“So, how is the food?”
This question, beyond other questions that some would deem as more important, was key to my visit. If the tour guide was honest enough with me to tell me that the food was terrible (which one was), then I immediately dismissed the college from my running.
Now, I know what you are thinking. “This guy is nuts! How could he base his decision on where to go to college based solely on food?” Well, I guess I love my food. But, I do not think that I am alone in this. I truly believe that one of the most important factors for students looking at colleges is how the food is.
That all being said, the second question some of you may ask is, “Well if food was that important, why the heck did he choose Malone?” Trust me, there are days when I have asked myself that same question. However, I think that we Malone students do not always realize the blessings that we have. I know that I never did, until this year.
Near the beginning of the year, I was looking to make some extra money. So, being like a vast amount of other students, it seems, I went to AVI. Surely enough, they hired me on. I did not, though, get the usual dish pit job. I was hired to work three days a week in the morning preparing fruits, vegetables, and other such food items for the day. Overall, not too bad of a job (Except for the onions. Onions are the most evil food item ever created.)
An interesting perk of my job was that, being there every morning in the kitchen area, I was able to see everything that went into the food preparation.
Interestingly enough, after spending a few months in the kitchen, I found myself trying many new things that I would never have tried before, just because I was able to see the amount of time and energy spent trying to make the food for us.
I enjoyed the taste testing that I was able to partake in, and I think that through the friendships I created and the effort I witnessed that is put into the food, I began to like our food more and more.
Now, I would not say that our food is perfect. However, as I have been a part of the process, I see how hard AVI tries to make good, hearty food. Everything is made from scratch. Every morning I work, I see (and sample) the days soup. Any sauce made for any meal is whipped up. Desserts are baking in ovens, meat is being grilled, fried, seared, and prepared in tons of different ways.
I have gained an appreciation for our food that I never had before.
So, next time you see something that looks a little different or weird, try it! If I can say anything about the current AVI staff, it is that they truly care. Do not just dismiss something because it looks like you will not like it. I would be willing to bet that you may find yourself surprised at how delicious something is. I know this, because it has happened to me countless times this year.
Do I still have days where I wander around the cafeteria, trying to find something to eat? Yes. But it sure happens a lot less than it used to.
Brad Gee is a senior Bible and theology major.