Students sample French food as part of Global Chef program


Alice Yin/Daily Senior Staffer

Edouard Becker stands behind the counter at Norris University Center on Tuesday. Becker is Northwestern Dining’s Global Chef of the year. The program brings chefs from around the world to prepare food in University dining halls.

Olivia Ellis, Reporter

Students in each dining hall had the opportunity to try French cuisine Monday and Tuesday as part of Northwestern Dining’s annual Global Chef program.

Global Chef started at Northwestern more than 10 years ago, Northwestern Dining spokeswoman Rachel Tilghman said.

“We’re really just trying to contribute to the idea that Northwestern has global citizens,” Tilghman said. “This is one of the things we do to support different cultures, to bring that global into a local perspective for students to experience it without leaving their dining hall.”

This year’s Global Chef, Edouard Becker, hails from Alsace, France. He said he grew up surrounded by his mother and grandmother’s cooking, and fell in love with the industry and decided to come to the United States in his 30s. Becker joined Sodexo about six years ago, and he is now sharing his cuisine as part of the Global Chef program. His dishes blend German and French traditions.

Students in each dining hall, complete with balloons and other festive decorations, got to try Becker’s cuisine. In Allison Dining Hall, the Mike Knauf Trio played French music to evoke the atmosphere of a French cafe.

Sean Hyland, the NU Dining unit marketing coordinator, said he thinks the program is beneficial because students are getting an authentic French meal from a trained international chef.

Students also had the opportunity to cook with the chef and help prepare the meals Monday morning at Norris University Center. They did everything from learning the preparation technique to working with the international chef, Tilghman said.

Communication sophomore Chelsea Jacobson said she signed up to help because she loves to cook, but at school she doesn’t have many opportunities to do so.

“It’s just really beneficial to expose people to foods they would have never otherwise tried,” Jacobson said. “It shakes things up when food in the dining hall can always feel the same.”

Becker served about 12 dishes, including coq au vin, fresh sauerkraut, caramelized radishes and crepes with brandied cherries.

“My motto is, ‘Don’t count the calories, count the blessings,’” Becker said.

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