'college' on Serious Eats

Back-to-School Packing List for College Students

With the school year starting up in the next few weeks, it's time to get organized. In addition to bed risers, bookends and Bananagrams, don't forget to pack in some gear to get you cooking and eating well. Whether you live in a dorm room with only a microwave and cereal bowl, or have upgraded to a living situation with a full on kitchen - stove and all - here are some ideas to bring (and stuff in your mini-fridge) when you head back to school. More

Snapshots from Foodstock, Wesleyan University's Food Conference

Wesleyan University in Connecticut recently held Foodstock, a food conference dedicated to cooks and books. The all-day extravaganza featured some of the food world's best and brightest writers (including SE contributors!) as well as local food bloggers, cookbook authors, and chefs. Of the many speakers, some highlights included Ruth Reichl, Eric Asimov, Dorie Greenspan, Molly O'Neill, and Jane Stern. Check out some snapshots from Foodstock! More

Critic-Turned-Cook Gets Insight Into Gluten-Free Cooking

[Photographs: Leslie Kelly, unless otherwise noted] ASP members Matt Hansen, Mitch Halliday, and Richard Sherman. [Photograph: Darlene Barnes] A month into my gig as the second banana at the Alpha Sigma Phi's frat house kitchen at the University of Washington, I continue to be blown away by the quality of the ingredients chef Darlene Barnes sources, and the care and integrity with which she prepares the surprisingly exotic meals for 70 perpetually hungry young men, including those who may have dietary restrictions. After a scary trip to the ER this summer, sophomore Matt Hansen found out he couldn't tolerate gluten. So, Darlene has been making adjustments to recipes, cooking as gluten-freely as possible. Although it's no small feat, "It's... More

Critic-Turned-Cook: The Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity Kitchen

"If there's one thing all the guys seem to agree upon, it's milk. Man, do they drink a lot." A table of Alpha Sigma Phi brothers at the University of Washington. [Photograph: Leslie Kelly] When my friends and family learn I'm working as a prep cook at a fraternity house at the University of Washington, I get loads of ribbing. My former boss, Tom Douglas, actually rolled his eyes. A few ask the obvious questions and no, I haven't met anybody named Bluto and I have not tried a keg stand—not yet. (Though this 83-year-old woman is inspiring.) One of the things I've so appreciated about my time at Alpha Sigma Phi is the opportunity to see some stereotypes shattered.... More

Critic-Turned-Cook Finds Her Dream Job at a Frat House Kitchen

Darlene Barnes and Alpha Sigma Phi President Alexander Badley. [Photograph: Leslie Kelly] After working in 10 kitchens since the beginning of my culinary journey from pen to pan, I think I've finally found my niche in a totally surprising place. My latest kitchen gig—cook's assistant at University of Washington's Alpha Sigma Phi—just might be my dream job. I didn't know there could be flat-out fantastic food served in a frat house, but the 70 members of this old school spot are discriminating diners-in-training thanks to the efforts of their clever cook, Darlene Barnes. I met Darlene this summer at the Quillisascut Farm School for the Domestic Arts and was fascinated by her unusual job, which she writes about on... More

Video: The Freshman 15

"For the life of me I cannot remember / What made me think that Easy Mac was a healthy midnight snack." This lamentation over typical college junk food and more in The Freshman 15, College Humor's spoof of the Verve Pipe's The Freshmen. If you gained the Freshman 15, relive the magic with this music video. If you're just starting college, beware. Watch the video after the jump.... More

The Latest in College Financial Aid: Food Stamps

Even ramen, delivery pizza, and Easy Mac can add up, which is why some college students are applying for food stamps. Despite the 26-page application, it's probably worth the time—and skipping the philosophy reading—if it means eating tomorrow. With 23,000 Denver residents receiving food stamp benefits, about 4,223 (18 percent) of them are students, according to the Denver Post. The qualifications can differ from state to state, but here's the government's fact sheet on food stamps. The nation's economic downturn is affecting all ages, even the young ones supposedly safe inside dorms.... More

George Foreman's New Lean Mean Fryer

George Foreman, the boxing champ and patron saint for college students eating grease-less chicken breasts everywhere, has reached a whole new level. His new Lean Mean Fryer ($149.99) undergoes a "spin cycle," like a washing machine, to get rid of fried fattiness. The Smart Spin™ technology claims to knock out "up to 55 percent" of grease, but still deliver on crispiness. This spinny fryer makes me wonder: what if you take fried foods on the swing ride at the fair? Will it have the same effect?... More

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