The smell of sizzling barbeque chicken quickly fills the hallway air, traveling to each nose on the floor. Students begin to lick their chops as the saliva fills their mouths. At the source of the smell a hungry resident is preparing the rest of his meal, dicing vegetables, and organizing a row of condiments. As if he were Emerill Lagasse he quickly adds the finishing touches to the now browned poultry. After the veggies are finally caramelized, the Foreman grill is unplugged and left to cool. The chef’s masterpiece of barbeque chicken, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, hot peppers, ranch dressing, American cheese, lettuce, and a secret ingredient makes its way to the plate before being devoured seconds later.
“Most people are Melvins and don’t know how to cook properly,” the grill master said, wishing to remain anonymous in fear of having his grill confiscated. “You want your chicken to be juicy, so when you bite into it your tongue gets a little burnt. Put some hot sauce on that, and some salt and pepper. That’s ‘Merica.”
The grill would, under school code, be considered contraband. “We are told to confiscate foremans if they are being used in the dorms,” said Mike Tucci, a Morrill Hall CA.
The comical chef stocks his freezer full of Hamburg, chicken, and almost anything else in the meat family. The foreman grill is mostly used to cook up a homemade double cheeseburger, or a quick chicken sub, but it has also seen its days of shish-kabob, steak tips, and the chef’s favorite, sweet italian sausage. Almost every meal of the day is made on his convenient little grill, rarely attending meals outside his room.
“Real food isn’t grade D, it’s grade A up in here, we’re bonafide,” the eccentric cook said, giving a wink afterwards.
A red solo cup is usually in hand as the collegiate iron chef is in action. The contents in the drink are usually a micro brew of choice, but sometimes a special drink is in order.
“Whiskey sour is my go to drink. The sour gets my taste-buds tingling, and the whiskey makes my stomach crave that sweet delicious meat, and the ginger ale settles my stomach and puts it as case,” said the grill guru.
The last half of the barbeque chicken sub remains untouched on the paper plate. The chef wipes the barbeque sauce from around his mouth, and takes another long sip of the freshly made whiskey sour. The chef acts as a magician, making the sub disappear in the blink of an eye. After pounding his chest and burping louder than most human beings are capable of, the cook becomes unenthusiastic when he catches sight of the mess that resides on the countertop. The cleaning is his biggest pet peeve, but it all comes back to the soul reason of cooking in the first place.
“I cook for myself because it’s always satisfaction guaranteed,” the grill man said, finishing off his solo cup and putting away his portable grill.
Through the cooking sessions an appearance by Castleton sophomore, Sam Esser, can usually be expected. As soon as the meat begins to crack and sizzle, and the air becomes polluted with its savory smell, Esser’s radar picks up on the action. He appears at the scene of the cookout as if someone had sounded off the dinner bell. Although very receptive of food, Esser will critique the cooking if need be.
“The best I’ve eaten at school so far, was a bass caught in Bomoseen Lake. We put hamburger seasoning on it, it was delectable,” Esser said.
Esser could just as well be Anthony Bourdain, with all of his traveling and tongue for food critiquing. Usually after taking a few bites and gaging the floor effect of the finished product, Esser will lend advice on improving the quality of the meat. The cat can never keep hold of his tongue, and a very honest approach has paid off for him. The grilling wizard claims Esser’s advice has only driven him to cook better for his critique, and finally get that nod of approval. Esser has also proved to be a fair chef, knowing he will not be fed if the thumbs are always pointing down.
“For the most part the food is excellent, but you have to keep the chef in check,” Esser exclaimed. “If they get lazy it compromises the entire meal.