September 8, 2011

Omelet You Finish, But …

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If there is a heaven, I’m positive it comes with an omelet station. Omelets are perfection surrounded by an egg; they are a delicious way to consume protein and veggies. If it were up to me, there would be an annual event on campus called “I ♥ fantastic omelets.”

If I ever win the lottery, my plan is to offer my favorite omelet chef (who I pine for every morning I must go without her delicious omelet masterpieces) an obscene amount of money to live with me and make me omelets for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

When I was fifteen I spent my uncle’s wedding skulking around the omelet station and eating a grand total of six omelets.

Over the years, I’ve discovered it is generally useless to have a favorite omelet restaurant; the quality of the omelet depends on the person making it, rather than the restaurant where it is being cooked. If you can find someone who can make a good omelet, my advice is that you place a small tracking device on their person, consult it every morning and show up on their doorstep with a frying pan and the requisite ingredients. That is the only way you are guaranteed a quality omelet. The diner with the omelet of your dreams one morning can produce an amateur effort the next; it just depends on the cook.

I’m a bit of an omelet snob.

When I got to Cornell, I was insanely excited for my first Sunday brunch at RPCC. They had an omelet station. An omelet station. There would be omelets, subsidized by my meal plan, and lo, it would be good.

When I got to the dining hall, heart aquiver, I approached the omelet station and snagged three small cups to fill with my chosen ingredients. I  was considering a fourth cup when the cook informed me that generally I was only allowed two cups of ingredients, but seeing as I was a “rookie” he would allow me to use three cups just this one time. Fair enough.

I was given a choice between eggs and egg whites. I chose regular eggs and then my chosen ingredients were placed on top of a premade omelet to cook. The finished product was wrapped up and handed back to me.

The moment of truth was upon me. Could Cornell Dining’s omelets be the omelets to satisfy my craving throughout the semester?  Unfortunately, no. The eggs didn’t taste right, and I was not enjoying the essentially raw onion in my omelet.

I got up from the table, moved away from my subpar omelet and excised my grief and disappointment by eating as many doughnuts as possible in a five minute period.

The vast majority of the food on the Cornell campus is delicious; so, I resolved to find out why my omelet had so heartily disappointed me. I went straight to the man behind the stir fry and behind the omelet.

Steven Fuhrmeister is the tall but affable man who prepares omelets for Sunday brunch in RPCC. You may know him better as the tall but affable man who makes delicious stir fry the other six days of the week. He uses a six ounce ladle to make the omelets and estimates that at Sunday brunch he makes about 350 to 370 omelets and uses fifteen gallons of eggs. He explained to me that although it would be “better if we cooked the veggies a little first but doing that for many people, it’s impossible.” He, in fact, appears to be a bit of an egg snob himself, as he claims that “nothing compares” to the eggs that come from his friend’s chickens.

Fuhrmeister’s preference for non-store bought eggs made me realize something. People have different preferences. No single entity can be everything to everybody. There are some freshmen who wrinkle their noses at the mac and cheese, because their moms make it better. There are some freshmen who miss fresh-squeezed orange juice. When it comes to the things I’m passionately snobby about, I’m willing to put forth a little effort, now that I’m out of my hometown and living on my own. So I’ll go to the ends of the earth — or the ends of Ithaca — to find the perfect omelet. Who is with me?

Taylor Horn is a freshman in the College of Human Ecology. She may be reached at tgh38@cornell.edu. Northern Exposure, a column from the perspectives of alternating members of the Class of 2015, appears alternate Fridays this semester.

Original Author: Taylor Horn