Hillel’s Kitchen teaches students the importance of leftovers through competition

Hillel hosted an event called Hillel's Kitchen on March 6. The event aimed to teach students the importance of using leftover food in their cooking while encouraging competition. - Multimedia Editor / Michael Reina

As a college student, spending money wisely is an important lesson that never stops being taught. Making sure you eat meals throughout the day can become costly, and you may have to preserve leftovers instead of just throwing them away. What a better opportunity to learn how to cook new meals with these leftovers than what Hillel offered at the Interfaith Center in Evergreen Hall.

Step inside Hillel’s Kitchen, where students gathered to bring their best dishes to the table in teams. Hillel, a Jewish organization on campus, hosted the event.

Ingredients like potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, poppin’ fresh dough rolls, fried bread, chicken, salad, pasta, marinara sauce, hot dogs, wraps and mini bagels provided students the chance to make the dish of their choice. The competition consisted of creating two dishes: an appetizer or main course and a dessert. Each dish was judged based on presentation, taste and creativity.

The four teams that competed comprised two students each. Sophomore music industry major Rye Guether, senior communication studies major Izzy Wellman, senior music industry major Greggory Nekrasovas and sophomore business management and marketing major Alex Herschman were among the participants.

Herschman was one of the judges for the event, as was Marc Fleischner, the senior director in IRT and adviser for Hillel. Fleischner used Hillel’s Kitchen to teach students the value of preserving leftovers.

“You can take stuff that is in your cabinets and make good food out of it,” said Fleischner. “Say you’re going on a date and you want to cook for somebody, or you want to cook something nice for your parents, you don’t have to spend a lot of time. There’s a lot of flavor in your fridge, and this way it stops people from throwing stuff out.”

For the appetizer and main course dish, the teams created dishes; salad with rotisserie chicken stuffed inside a puff pastry, sandwiches with chicken and pasta, hot dogs combined with marinara sauce, sesame seeds, oregano and a puff pastry filled with mashed potatoes, chicken and mozzarella.

Desserts made included vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate syrup and crushed brownies, a cookie dough ice cream float and ice cream dishes topped with Thin Mints for decoration. The winner of the competition was Wellman, who won based on the creative presentation of her dessert and the excellent taste of her chicken pot pie.

“We want to ensure our students have a great experience in college and this is a way that I can ensure students have a great experience,” said Fleischner of the event. “They’ve got fun stuff to do, they make friends, and they hang out together. It’s our job to have you here, teach life lessons, because you don’t realize this is a life lesson tonight. You can cook something simple.”

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