Slovenian and Colombian cuisine featured in dining halls as a part of the Global Chef program

Amanda Gilbert

NuCuisine presented a new edition of its Global Chef Program by introducing Slovenian and Colombian cuisine to campus Tuesday afternoon.

Global Chef Tomo Irsic, known as Chef Tomo, traveled from Slovenia to cook for the Northwestern community. The menu he prepared for students and faculty Tuesday at Scott Hall, 601 University Place, will be served at resident dining locations and the Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, throughout the week.

NuCuisine District Manager Steve Mangan said the Scott Hall lunch was a warm-up for Irsic before he presents his food to NU students and the meals are offered as a regular choices at dining halls.

“Our goal is to incorporate these recipes into everyday offerings after this week,” said Mangan, who added this is the Global Chef Program’s eighth year.

Sodexo staff provide all of the on-campus dining options. The staff said they are using this event to bring more ethnic and international foods to nuCuisine.

Global Chef is an opportunity not only for students to expand their palates but also for University cooks to work with new recipes. NU chefs will assist Irsic throughout the week when he prepares the dining hall meals. In previous years, the international chefs in the program trained the University cooks to prepare the new cuisine.

Executive Chef Brian Wagner said he learned to cook both Colombian and Slovenian food but did not know much about the foreign foods before the event.

“My favorite food is the salt-crusted beef tenderloin,” Wagner said. “I never thought I’d get to experience these different cuisines from around the world.”

Mangan said the event demonstrated the NU cooks’ culinary talent as well.

“The purpose of the event is multifaceted,” he said. “We also get to showcase the talent we have in our company since our chefs can now cook these international meals on campus.”

The meal Irsic will present at Sargent Dining Hall, 2245 Sheridan Rd., on Wednesday night includes tuna pate in lettuce with tomato sauce, vipava jota soup, trout fillet with rosemary and sour cream, polenta with baby spinach and istrian fritule doughnuts. Roasted duck and octopus will be on the menu other evenings.

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, assistant vice president for student auxiliary services, said she is pleased with the variety of meals Irsic is preparing with the NU staff.

“Sodexo is so open to helping the students,” Payne-Kirchmeier said. “This is just one of the ways that it works closely with the kids to expand food options on campus to fit their needs.”

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