José Andrés (center) cooking in Puerto Rico.(Eric Rojas / The New York Times)

Recipes For The People: A Hot Plate of Food When It’s Needed Most

Two weeks ago, I came across a video on Twitter called #RecipesForThePeople. It was a cooking video posted by José Andrés, a Spanish-American chef and founder of World Central Kitchen, a non-profit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. In this six minute clip, Andrés and his daughters made angel hair pasta and tomato sauce as they sang and danced their way through Hamilton. The internet went crazy — from, “I did not think I could love José Andrés more. I was wrong.

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From Statler Hall to Eleven Madison Park: A Cornell Alum Success Story

This week, I was lucky enough to interview Max Aronson, a recent Cornell graduate from 2019. Graduating from the School of Hotel Administration with a concentration in Beverage Management, he is now an assistant server at Eleven Madison Park — a fine dining restaurant located in the Flatiron District of Manhattan. Eleven Madison Park is ranked third among The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2016 and is known for their taste and presentation. Let’s take a look at how Max is doing today. 1.

Kathryn Stamm / Sun News Editor

If I am Drinking Straight from the Tap, Those Microbes are Drinking from the Tap

For the first time that day, I scuttled down the few steps outside of my apartment building. It was already 2:00 p.m., and I took the opportunity to stretch my arms and move my body. A typical April day in quarantined upstate New York, mid-forties and cloudy with sporadic rain showers. I took a seat on a wooden bench on the sidewalk. With the corner of my eye, I spotted a jar hugging the leg of the bench.

Brittainy Newman / The New York Times

How to? | Grocery Shopping During COVID-19

I didn’t want to come home. I enjoyed eating on campus, picking up apples at GreenStar and drinking cappuccinos from Gimme! Coffee. But even before I left Cornell to live at home with my parents, my family was discussing the plan for grocery shopping. My sister, who lives in New York City, insisted that I do the shopping instead of my parents, since their age puts them at a higher risk of complications from COVID-19.

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Student Spotlight on Samay Bansal ‘21: COVID-19 Hunger Relief Efforts

Hoping to make a difference in his community, Hotel School student Samay Bansal ‘21 founded Million Meals Mission in 2016. The nonprofit aims to reduce global food insecurity through alliances with grassroots partners and food distributors. His first goal was to feed 1,000,000 people a meal, after being inspired by The Shed that Fed a Million Children: The Extraordinary Story of Mary’s Meals, a book by entrepreneur and philanthropist Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow. MMM began its work in Ludhiana, India, and has since expanded to Saadi Rasoi, India, the LaValla primary school for physically disabled students in Cambodia and the organization Rise Against Hunger in its meal-distribution efforts. Today, MMM is doing its part to support populations impacted by food insecurity as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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It was Never About the Ravioli

Five generations ago, my great-great-grandparents on my father’s side of the family immigrated from Italy to America, working as grape farmers near Buffalo. My great-great-grandpa, Frank Balducci, died of a sudden heart attack in the family vineyard. My grandma (Nonna) remembers her grandmother, Great-Great-Grandma Balducci, for growing the best peaches despite the Buffalo snows. My Nonna grew up with her own garden, growing tomatoes, onions and garlic. She fondly remembers going into the garden with her sister Marylin, a loaf of bread and a jar of miracle whip to make the best tomato sandwiches straight off the vine.

Easy homemade matzo with potato chip appeal, in New York, March 26, 2020. Food styled by Julia Gartland. (Julia Gartland/The New York Times)

ROVINE | Reflections on an Unusual Passover

In a world afflicted by plagues and devoid of autonomy, the ancient Israelites enslaved in Egypt longed for little more than fundamental safety and freedom from suffering. Today, whether you have lost your job, feel unsafe in your home or are eating Matzah of your own volition, your pain is also valid. What makes this Passover different from all other Passovers? For one, many seders have saved a seat for a special new guest (and no, I’m not talking about Elijah). This year, Zoom joined the party, enabling extended families to safely come together from across the street or across the globe.

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When the City that Never Sleeps Takes a Rest: What Does That Mean for Local Farmers?

As empty restaurant tables continue to collect dust in New York City, 60 miles east in Brookhaven, Long Island, Early Girl Farm is bursting with life. Tomato, eggplant and pepper seedlings are beginning to extend their leafy limbs out into the world as employees carefully prepare the soil, adjusting its mineral levels and incorporating nutrient-rich compost to create optimal growing conditions for this summer’s crops. Patty Gentry, a former restaurant owner and chef turned professional farmer, owns and operates the small but mighty farm, which provides seasonal, organic produce to restaurants in the New York City Metro Area. 2020 marks Patty’s tenth year as a professional farmer. She is an expert in her field, who understands the science of organic farming down to the microscopic levels of soil composition.

Tulips at the Keukenhof garden's annual exhibit of bulbs in Lisse, Netherlands.

Food Ethics | The Third Saturday

The local restaurant in Pennsylvania where I worked was easily defined by seasons. The year started off in a barren winter. The garden beds out front were hugged in snow, the thermostat dropped low and customers, especially after a holiday shopping spree, were scarce. I’d find myself staring at the clock, willing it to chime closing time, 2:00 p.m. Winters were scarce of many things: Fresh food, warmth, entertainment, customers and, most importantly, tips. I never liked winters in the restaurant very much.

Rulloff’s Restaurant on March 19, 2020. New York State ordered restaurants to cease dine-in operations on March 16. (Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor)

Rulloff’s: A Premature Goodbye

When I first went to Rulloff’s, located on 411 College Ave back in February, I thought I would be saying goodbye to the bar and restaurant since its building is set for demolition at the beginning of this summer to make room for an apartment complex. Unfortunately, we would instead be saying goodbye to Rulloff’s, like many other restaurants, as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Plastered on its doors now are signs that read, “Due to the coronavirus crisis Rulloff’s is closed until further notice.”
When I dined there, I asked if Rulloff’s would open another location, and the waitress told me they honestly don’t know. However, the answer being “yes” is less likely given the new and upsetting reality all restaurants now face. Whether it was trips to Insomnia Cookies to take a study break, post-prelim boba runs, Chatty Cathy dates with my roommate, frequent and spontaneous stress-prompting trips to Mango Mango or celebrations at Koko — Collegetown restaurants have always been there for me during my time at Cornell.