A Moveable Feast

May/June 2010

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A Moveable Feast

Courtesy UMass Amherst

It won't go down as one of Stanford's most historic honors, but it certainly was a tasty achievement: the selection of a mango lassi as the best recipe concocted on the Farm.

That was the conclusion earlier this year from students at University of Massachusetts Amherst, which played host to an "Epic Battle of Taste" featuring food from Stanford, the University of Georgia, the University of Iowa and Villanova University. In a twist on the UMass visiting chef program, which highlights cuisine school by school, the idea was to showcase a range of collegiate specialties. Students grazed and gobbled before voting for their favorite item from each university.

Stanford Dining's chef de cuisine Nijo Joseph and head cook Ashok Rajput delivered an Indian vegetarian menu that included the potatoes-and-cauliflower aloo gobi and a spicy meatless tikka masala. Other choices the tasters could feast on included sushi rice cakes topped with glazed pork belly from Iowa, peach chicken divine from Georgia and lobster orzo gratin from Villanova.

UMass's director of dining services, Ken Toong, said there were no losers, only winners, though one wonders if some folks' stomachs might not have taken a serious beating. Perhaps the smoothie's rave review was due to some protection it afforded diners' digestive tracts? Though Joseph notes that it is very popular at Stanford as well.

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