How fridges and Chilling Chickens became part of daily life
by Tessa van Hoorn
“CHILLING Chicken”, “Healthy Hummus”, “Mag-nificent Mozzarella” and more; these are not ways to teach children some-thing about either food or linguistics (alliteration awesomeness), but are some of the heroes of the Elliott Food Team. They have become part of my daily concerns now, just as fridges and freezers can brighten up my day almost as much as a good grade does (awesome job Anouk!).
Last year sad news reached the stu-dents: Monique van Boort, also known as “Crostini” was going to leave Elliott. Her beloved carpaccio and homemade chicken salad sandwiches would dis-appear from our student community, and there would be a gaping hole in the place where she once stood. However, as a business, Elliott had to do something; would a new external partner re-place her? Maybe pre-made sandwiches could be sold by the Mensa bartenders? Or would we just leave it for what it was? None would do, as in the end UCR stu-dents decided to do what they are good at: arrange it among themselves. And so it was that at the end of the Spring 2015 semester all students received an opportunity; many responded with great enthusiasm, and the Elliott Food Team commenced.
The board for this team was formed over the course of the summer break, and seemed to me quite a random group of people at first. Robin Schouten was to become Chef (Chair), Anna Aris would take care of promotion, Hester Overmeire would be our trusted Sup-ply Manager, Anke van Keulen would analyse sales, Debby-Esmeé (“Debs”) de Vlugt would give us creative advice, Anouk Daams would represent Elliott, and I would become Sous-Chef/Human Resource Manager. None of us really had any idea what we got ourselves into, and the last two weeks of break were filled with prepar-ing for the unknown. In the meantime we had also established a nice group of dedicated students – you know, the ones that make your day bearable because they make you a delicious sandwich (or cake, but that’s just Debs of course. We love you, Debs)! To be honest, it was tough to get into. Tough, but also an amazingly exciting project where everyone involved brought – and brings, by the way – some great energy and commitment to the table. Everyone worked incredibly hard to make this happen, and it was to our great amazement and joy that these sandwiches that we came up with and are made, with extra love, by all the Food Team volunteers, are so incredibly popular with students.
Currently we are still learning, and sometimes things are a bit messy; this does not in any way temper the excite-ment, and in this stage we also get to innovate and try a whole host of awe-some ideas. Another great aspect is that there is the amount of student input we get. Want more vegan and healthy snacks? There will be a student willing to explore these options! Do you instead want more bacon? We will start selling supplements! Anything else you are missing? Let us know!
All in all, I can say I feel blessed to have joined this initiative. Not only do we get to contribute to Elliott in a very concrete way, but we also get to have a zen-sandwich-making moment, receive many smiles from hungry students, and learn a great deal profes-sionally as well. We truly hope that this will be a sustainable addition to Elliott as well, but if I look at the bedazzling efforts made by my fellow board mem-bers and students, I am sure we can keep these sandwiches rollin’!
PS: If you would like to become in-volved in this team, please do shoot any of the board members a message! Whether it is because you would like to volunteer or because you have some great ideas, we truly appreciate your in-put.
Tessa van Hoorn, Class of 2016, is an International Relations and Anthropology major, from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.