At Harvard, cooking usually means perfecting the ratio of milk to Cracklin’ Oat Bran in your bowl, so it’s no surprise that recent graduates often find themselves at a loss when faced with an actual stove and no Brain Break. A class offered by Harvard University Dining Services aims to change that.
The class for graduating seniors is taught by HUDS Director for Culinary Operations Martin T. Breslin. It meets once a week in the belly of the beast—the HUDS central kitchen near Kirkland House.
“The goal is to explore the art of cooking, but also to learn to feed yourself at a very basic level,” said Jason J. Wong ’10, one of the students taking advantage of the program.
Cameron N. Spickert ’10 added, “I’m going to be living on my own, and I didn’t want to either starve or spend a lot of money on fast food.”
The class is taught to a group of about 15 seniors, who learn by preparing the food themselves.
“The meat of the class—if you’ll pardon the pun—is really to practice applying all the skills we are learning,” explained Wong.
Working in the HUDS kitchen is also unique to the class. “It was the first time I had gotten a sense of just how much work it takes to feed more than 6,000 undergraduates,” said Hong Suk Yang ’10, a student in the class.
Though complaints about meals are common in d-halls across campus, many students have seized the opportunity to gain some of HUDS’ wisdom. As Alex Yang ’10 said, “Seeing the inner workings of HUDS made me gain a lot of respect for them.”
And after graduation? Those seniors who don’t take the class may just find themselves in hot water.