Students “Cook and Eat with Xavier Chefs”

By: Sarris Balcerzak ~Copy Editor~

The first in a series of five “Cook and Eat with Xavier Chefs” events took place on Sept. 20. The program allows students to help shop for, prepare, cook and share a meal with other students along with a Xavier chef.

cook and eat fruit
Students learn to shop local and fresh at locations like Findlay Market (above).

The Office of Sustainability and the Senior Administrative Fellow for Sustainability offered the program.

The program is “aimed at getting students together who are interested in sustainability and food and cooking. (Sustainability Club) hopes the group will be interested by the end of the semester in forming an ecovillage,” professor of history and sustainability Kathleen Smythe said.

The group went to Findlay Market with its chef, Chair of the Department of Music and Theatre, Dr. Tom Merrill, to gather main ingredients.

They enjoyed a risotto with rosemary, lemon, garlic and chicken, along with an arugula and mint salad with oranges and avocados topped with white balsamic vinaigrette. The majority of the ingredients were purchased from local vendors.

The group then went back to campus to cook their meal at the Brueggeman Center.
Students also prepared discussion questions to reflect upon with the chef while they ate their meal.

cook and eat cooker girl
Junior Taylor Roberts stirs the risotto ingredients at the Brueggeman Center.

Students are often hard-pressed to find the time to shop for food, much less prepare and cook meals.

This cost-free event allowed students a chance to escape Ramen noodles and pizza for a night and explore a home-cooked meal that both supported local farms and was cost-efficient.
“I want to learn how to cook and eat while still supporting sustainability,” junior and Sustainability Communications Intern Taylor Roberts said.

“It was really cool because (Dr. Merrill) had real cooking experience … He was super passionate about it,” Roberts said.

The total cost came out to be about $6 per person, about the same cost as a Chipotle burrito.
The next “Cook and Eat” event takes place from 2-6 p.m. on Oct. 3 with Sustainability Director Ann Dougherty. This time, instead of venturing to Findlay Market, participants will gather ingredients from the farmer’s market on the Xavier Yard. Students had to fill out an application to express their interest in attending the events.

Other dates for “Cook and Eat with Xavier Chefs” are Nov. 1, Nov. 15 and Dec. 5. Applications are available at For more information email Professor Smythe at