U of T downtown campus to use kitchen, not supplier, to provide fresh food for students

This is how old I am:

SewerAnalysis-PotUsage-WashingtonWhen I was an undergraduate at the University of Guelph, we had meal cards worth $20 each. But we could buy kegs of beer on those same cards.

Halfway through the semester, the teetotalers would start selling their meal cards for $10. The drunks, like me, would eat endless amounts of cereal, grilled cheese and hot dogs via our electronic frying pan in our room.

And a guy in residence had a huge grow-op in his closet.

Education is all about higher learning.

Now, the University of Toronto’s downtown campus will cut ties with its food service provider, Aramark, later this summer and start running most of its on-campus dining options itself, the latest school to satisfy what appears to be a growing appetite for fresh meals.

The move will centralize most of the St. George campus food operations and see a main kitchen provide fresh food to some retail outlets that don’t have kitchens and rely heavily on packaged food, said Anne Macdonald, the university’s director of ancillary services.

Chefs, for example, will cook soups and sauces from scratch instead of ordering from a production facility, Macdonald said.

Soup is not fresh food, it’s the leftover shit from the day before.

Guess students are that dumb.

And best wishes for those foodborne illness outbreaks while you’re worried about following rather than leading.

Not worth eating unless 50% chance of diarrhea: Bourdain does Daily Show

Witticisms like that have endeared fans of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, but barf and diarrhea is no fun, especially for kids.

Bourdain’s good with a quip, as he showed last night on The Daily Show, but still comes across like Hunter S. Thompson-lite.

Eater reports that Bourdain, whose job is "what people would do if they didn’t have to work," stopped by The Daily Show to talk about the upcoming season of No Reservations, premiering Monday.

Jon Stewart comments on the less-than-hygienic places Bourdain travels on the show — "I have gotten diarrhea from watching" — to which Bourdain replies, "If there’s not at least a 50% chance of diarrhea when you eat something, it’s almost not worth eating." Also, Bourdain says the worst food comes not from the poorest countries (that’s some of the best), but places where people just aren’t interested in food. Not liking food? Yeah, that’s like saying "I’m not interested in music, and you know, I’m not particularly interested in sex either."

Food can be adventurous and safe. So can sex.

The clip is at http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-april-5-2012/anthony-bourdain for those in the U.S. But it worked for me via Eater.

Top Chef dirty hands leave a bad taste

The producers of Bravo’s Top Chef have me pegged as their target audience. Tonight’s episode featured the Sesame Street characters Telly, Cookie Monster, and Elmo (who were hilarious judges), and new ads for Target featuring former Top Chef cheftestants and Padma. It’s an entertaining episode that left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Tonight’s challenge was to cook a meal for 100 employees in a closed Target super store in the middle of the night. Because of the improvised cooking setting, the chefs were forced to set up their kitchens, find their ingredients, and prepare to serve the employees and judges within a 3 hour time limit. Some concentrated on table linens, some on flavors, but there was a frightening absence of handwashing. Granted, many of the chefs opted to make soup, which in theory should allow for thorough cooking of all ingredients. But what about any fancy garnish and fresh salad that ends up on the plate?

My favorite of the season, Richard Blais, made a pork tenderloin (pictured right exactly as shown). He then topped his finished pork with some freshly sliced apple and green chili slaw before serving. His concern? "It’s not the prettiest dish in the world. I know that. But I’m ready to defend my dish if I have to. I think it’s tasty."

Anthony Bourdain confirmed, "Frankly, I think Richard’s disk was butt ugly, but it was delicious."

One day I hope a chef will stand up and protest the cooking conditions or demand a meat thermometer. I will leave the food safety assessment to the experts, but I spotted a few potential concerns:

– using all cooking utensils and dishes straight from boxes with no chance to sanitize them

– improvised utensils, linens, garbage cans, etc.

– no handwashing stations, sanitizing solutions or rags to clean work surfaces or dishes.

I have hit pause on the DVR so many times that I’m not even done watching this episode yet, but I hope it does not end with a foodborne outbreak.

Anthony Bourdain, Bill Murray and taking food porn to the radio masses

Celebrity chef, author and TV host Anthony Bourdain is sorta interesting, but then gets sorta boring — Hunter S. Thompson-lite.

Everyone’s gaga that he got thespian Bill Murray to sit down for lunch in front of the cameras in a show broadcast last week (I didn’t see it). The promo below has enough teasers.

But what’s really got the foodies going is that Bourdain is launching a setellite radio show Sirius XM’s Martha Stewart Living Radio, with one of the stated goals to see how uncomfortable he can make co-host and chef friend Eric Ripert, all while expanding America’s notion of food porn.

"We’re going to be doing a segment that we call food porn," he said in a telephone interview, referring to the excessively sumptuous and sometimes sexualized words and photography often used in food media.

"We’re going to challenge each other to describe in as purple a language as possible some food we’ve had. I’m trying to see whether we can expand the food porn genre into radio. And I think we can do it."