Photo courtesy of Cornell Dining

April 18, 2018

An Insider’s Preview to NS 4880’s Themed Dinners for Creative Nutrition

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Cornell’s motto of “Any person … any study” is embedded in every aspect of our student lives. From the variety of majors to the abundance of food courses offered on campus, it comes as no surprise that we are able to sample the culinary creations of our fellow Cornellians through attending themed dinners held on West Campus and at the Statler’s Establishment every spring semester. After house hopping and food sampling for the past few years, I have been looking forward to taking Nutritional Science 4880: Applied Dietetics in Food Service Systems and am excited to finally organize a themed dinner of my own in collaboration with other dietetics students!

In this senior-level class, dietetics students embark on “foodie adventures” within the Division of Nutritional Sciences. Through combining classroom lessons with practical skills, students are divided into teams to work with Cornell Dining chefs to design a nutritionally balanced, yet creative and delicious dinner for the greater Cornell community. For the past nine years, NS 4880 has conducted experiential learning labs that have culminated in themed dinners in West Campus dining rooms. Through planning and executing these dinners, students develop skills required to operate and manage a food service program. According to DNS lecturer Emily Gier, MBA, RD, “the collaboration with Cornell Dining and West Campus allows students to interact with chefs, administration and customers in a meaningful way.”

This year, three West Campus dining halls — William Keeton House, Alice Cook House and Flora Rose House — will be participating in the NS 4880 themed dinners. From the Indian-Inspired Festival of Color to the Heart and Soul Dinner to the Alice in Wonderland: A Mad Tea Party, this year’s themes reflect students’ creativity in promoting nutritionally balanced meals while incorporating each house chef’s cooking philosophy.

According to Kirstin Sandheuer ’18 of the Keeton House team, the Indian-Inspired Festival of Color is “a fun, festive and colorful night [that infuses] diverse dishes with traditional Indian flavors and [celebrates] culture and community through art, colorful decor and shared passion for delicious food.” Music, live performances and a photo booth will be present at the event!
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Elizabeth Gunner ’18 of the Cook House team says the Heart and Soul Food Dinner will “feature a variety of Southern comfort foods with a contemporary twist, [as well as] Ithaca Beer Co. root beer floats, Ithaca Bakery bread and rolls and fun activities such as cornholes and a photo booth.”
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Finally, the Rose House team’s Alice in Wonderland: A Mad Tea Party will offer original movie-themed dishes created with spring-inspired ingredients. From tea-time sandwiches to Mad Hatter’s Tea to “Eat Me” Cookies, this menu invites guests to a journey down the rabbit hole. Entertainment at the event includes a Wonderland-themed photo booth and a special performance from Cornell Jazz Voices.
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I encourage you all to stop by the aforementioned West Campus dining halls from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24 to sample the fruits of our labor through an enriching food journey!