NU Cookology to dish out classic childhood meals at Willard Dining Hall on Saturday

Julia Doran, Reporter

Cookology, Northwestern’s culinary arts club, is collaborating with PROMPT Literary Magazine to host a pop-up restaurant this Saturday featuring food and writing reminiscent of classic American childhood meals.

Weinberg sophomore Diana Fu, head of advertising for Cookology, said the pop-up restaurant, named Caulfield, will offer a set menu of food and beverages spanning six courses, each accompanied by a description penned by PROMPT staff members.

“We wanted to partner with PROMPT because we thought it would be an interesting spin on our traditional pop-up restaurants,” Fu said. “We thought it would be really fun to read about peoples’ personal childhood memories attached to the dishes that we’re serving.”

The restaurant will operate for one day with a menu that includes Cookology’s take on a variety of foods known as childhood favorites, including grilled cheese, chicken noodle soup, apple pie and thin mint cookies, Fu said.

PROMPT’s event and marketing coordinator, Weinberg sophomore Erin Dunbar,
said she was excited for the chance to partner with Cookology when the group approached her with the idea, as this event is unlike any collaboration the magazine has done in the past. She said PROMPT will contribute five to eight short pieces of food-themed writing corresponding to the diverse selection of courses on the menu, including meatloaf, donuts and macaroni and cheese.

The personal experiences revealed through the writing will demonstrate the various ways in which the foods were involved in the childhood and development of the writers, as well as how and why they have become meaningful, Dunbar said.

“We’re trying to really create a nostalgic atmosphere that will bring back all of those childhood memories, and I think the writing of our staff members will really enhance that,” she said.

Weinberg sophomore Megan Pan, social media head of Cookology, said the group decided on the theme of childhood because they thought it would be a particularly rich topic to pair with food literature, as peoples’ early experiences with food shape how they approach it in the present.

Caulfield marks the club’s fourth pop-up restaurant to date, Pan said.

“The pop-up restaurants are always a lot of work, but in my opinion they’re the most rewarding things that we do at Cookology,” she said.

Pan said the name of this pop-up, inspired by J.D. Salinger’s protagonist, Holden Caulfield, in the novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” was chosen to subtly reflect the theme while also representing the literary component.

“We wanted the restaurant name to recall a certain idea of childhood, the kind that is filtered through nostalgia — something warm and pure,” Pan said.

Pan said she hopes the restaurant will give attendees a “fusion experience” in which the literature and food compliment each other to be enjoyed simultaneously during each course.

Cookology has been working hard to publicize the event amid hectic preparation, Fu said.

“I’m trying to communicate to students that it’s actually a really good deal,” she said. “It’s $20 dollars for a quality six-course meal that’s probably better than any food you’ve had on campus and ever will have on campus, or even at professional restaurants.”

The event is open to the public and will be held at Willard Dining Hall this Saturday.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @_juliadoran