NuCuisine brings Tour of Pork across campus

Scott Brown, Reporter

NuCuisine’s Tour of Pork launched this week, bringing pork-centric dishes ranging from breakfast to far-flung ethnic cuisine to Northwestern dining halls.

“Everyone loves pork,” nuCuisine spokesman Jason Sophian said. “This is a way to give students something they really like, as well as challenging our chefs to stretch their culinary talents.”

The idea was presented by nuCuisine district manager Steve Mangan several months ago and was then fleshed out by nuCuisine staff and chefs. Chefs created and tested recipes and worked to bring in the products they knew they would need in order to make the event as successful as possible.

“We try to challenge our chefs often,” said Sophian. “We want Northwestern to be a breeding ground for culinary talent where chefs can learn and progress in their careers.”

Five categories of pork were selected as part of the tour: breakfast at Allison on Monday, Asian cuisine at Sargent on Tuesday, European cuisine at Hinman on Wednesday, local pork at Norris University Center on Thursday and barbecue at Foster-Walker East on Friday.

Sophian said the event has been going over well so far with diners. He said the kitchen went through more than 100 pounds of pork Tuesday night at Sargent, where they served Banh Mi sandwiches and a pork noodle bowl. At Hinman on Wednesday afternoon, students sampled pork schnitzel and ham and capicola sandwiches.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” Medill freshman Jacob Frazer said. “I never thought a pork schnitzel existed. I’d only heard of a chicken schnitzel.”

Other selections did not go over as well.

“It was dining hall food,” Medill sophomore Preetisha Sen said about the ham and capicola sandwich that she tried.

The pork that will be served at Norris on Thursday comes from a farm in Indiana. Sophian said nuCuisine works to meet a goal of 20 percent locally purchased food each year and employs student sustainability interns to track this involvement and improve upon it.

The Tour of Pork is being promoted through a social media campaign, encouraging students to post pictures and feedback from their meals. Sophian said nuCuisine is always looking  to hear what people have to say.

“We talk to students, CAs and faculty, and we want to hear people’s likes, dislikes, what to improve,” he said.

More events like the Tour of Pork are being planned for Winter Quarter, and Sophian said the team is looking to work more with student groups for ideas and involvement.

“We want students to get involved and help them see that dining on campus really is very good here,” he said.

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