The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

New culinary club aims to teach healthy eating habits

3 min read
By LAURA SCHNEIDER  Contributing Writer UMW’s new culinary club held its first interest meeting on Friday, Nov. 30. Club leaders spoke about their goals and expectations for prospective members. 

Meaghan McIntyre


Contributing Writer

UMW’s new culinary club held its first interest meeting on Friday, Nov. 30. Club leaders spoke about their goals and expectations for prospective members.

According to a presentation delivered at the meeting, the inspiration to create the club came from the desire to “provide an environment to teach students how to cook from the ground up, as well as further teach those who know how to cook” and to “use ingredients efficiently.” Members of the club’s executive board emphasized that cooking is a necessary life skill that all college students need for the future, especially for nutritional and economic reasons.

“People are going to need to know how to cook,” said junior business administration major Sean Silke, the president of the club. “After we leave campus, there’s not going to be any UC waiting for us. We’re going to have to know how to prepare our meals instead of going to the nearest fast food restaurant. We have to know how to prepare our meals that’ll nourish our bodies.”

“You can pick up a couple pounds of potatoes and other fresh produce for the same price as a box of ramen,” added vice president Anthony Sherman, who is also a junior and business administration major. “That’s altogether better for you, and that’s what we really want to teach them.”

The officers plan to run the club with a mixture of lecture-type meetings, where they will mainly discuss recipes and safety techniques, and a few hands-on meetings where members will get to cook recipes in the UC kitchen. Members are welcome to bring recipes they want to try. The recipes the officers introduce will start out easy and gradually increase in difficulty as the semester progresses, according to Silke.

The officers also expect club members to behave professionally and follow certain safety requirements. Silke emphasized respect to other members and Chef William Hardy, who is the executive chef at the UC and the club’s advisor. In terms of safety requirements, members with long hair will have to keep their hair tied back, and nobody can wear open-toed shoes or clothes that expose a lot of skin due to the potential risk of serious burns.

Each member will also have to fill out and sign a waiver detailing any allergies and other dietary restrictions or preferences. Silke stated that members will be responsible for informing the leaders of that information so that everyone in the club will be kept safe.

While two students attended the meeting, other students emailed the officers stating that even though they couldn’t attend, they were still interested in the club.

“I kind of cook the same couple of things over and over again,” said Marisa Payne, a junior and a geography major. “I just want to find some new stuff to cook for myself.”

Payne said that she mostly likes to cook Asian recipes, especially pad Thai and dumplings. She likes to cook because it’s relaxing for her, and she hopes to make other Asian recipes in the club, as well as quiche and fried shrimp.

The officers plan on advertising the club and getting information about it out to students mainly through fliers and social media, according to junior English and communication and digital studies major Meaghan McIntyre. As secretary of the club, McIntyre is currently working on making Facebook and Instagram pages for the group. She also said that the officers plan to have a table at Club Carnival and to keep an email list for interested students to find out more information about the club as it continues to develop.

Club meetings will begin in the Spring 2019 semester. The officers plan to have the club meet on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. in Woodard on days where they will have their lecture-type meetings and in the UC kitchen on days will they will get to make their own recipes.