The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

“Let him cook!”: Investigation reveals new Top of the CRUC chef is an impasta

2 min read

Executive Chef, David Roeder, poses with a rat in his hat. | UMW Dining


Associate Editor

This year, students have noticed great improvements in the Top of the Cedric Rucker University Center’s quality of food.

“I recently got food that was fully seasoned from the Top of the CRUC,” said senior sociology and communication and digital studies double major Jess Kirby. “This has never happened to me in my four years here.”

While many have said they are grateful, several students have become suspicious of the dining hall’s sudden improvement. After hearing so many comments from the UMW community, students in JOUR 300: Investigative Journalism began investigating the CRUC as part of their semester-long article. Sure enough, they spotted what appears to be a large rat hiding under the hat of UMW’s new Executive Chef, David Roeder. 

“We knew there was more going on than just a new chef,” said Investigative Journalism student Charlie Li, a junior communication and digital studies major. “No man is that powerful. But a rat in a hat? Maybe.”

Roeder began work in the fall semester of 2022. Since then, students have consistently noted the dining hall’s improvement, and more students have even been eating at the dining hall this semester, according to UMW Dining Marketing Manager Rose Benedict. This drastic change stunned students, but the rat theory offers a rational solution. 

“A rat that can cook is the only logical answer,” said Kirby. “I’m starting to think that CRUC actually stands for Can Rats Understand Cooking.”

A theory has spread across campus that the rat, often sighted perched on Roeder’s head under his hat, is the true chef behind the improvements in student dining options. 

“I have literally never seen the chef without that hat on,” said Kirby. “I swear that when you catch him in the sunlight, you can see the rat’s outline. Even weirder—in the right light I could swear that the rat is wearing its own tiny chef hat.”

It is a little known fact that the film “Ratatouille” is based on a real phenomenon of rats attaching themselves to human chefs and using these human vessels to cook. This phenomenon seems to have taken hold at our very own university. 

“I can in fact say with confidence that the rat is real and it has been the true chef all along,” said Emma Bower, a senior English and studio art double major who considers the rat a close friend. 

UMW Dining declined to comment on the rat appearance. However, an anonymous source that works closely with Roeder in the dining hall made a plea to readers.

“If you see him, don’t say anything,” the source said. “That rat is an artist. Let him cook!”

This story is a part of our April Fool’s edition and is intended to be satirical in nature. All information or quotations are made up and not to be taken seriously.