By Carley Bennecke |Staff Writer|
Tito Calderon, Head Executive Chef from Sodexo dining services, prepared and served a full meal under 500 calories in the Student Recreational and Fitness Center (Rec Center) on Wednesday, March 5.
Calderon performed a healthy food demonstration to students.
He and Sodexo dining services Unit Marketing Coordinator accommodating associate, Emily Orquiza, set up two cooking tables, and served samples of his food.
“We normally provide about 80 to 120 samplings each time,” said Orquiza. “Every event we’ve had has been a good turnout.” Orquiza is the Unit Marketing Coordinator for Sodexo dining services.
“This event is a great way for Tito to interact with students, faculty and staff outside of the kitchen,” said Orquiza. “Tito creates easy-to-make healthy recipes that you can make at home.” Orquiza said the purpose of Tito’s healthy food demonstration event is “to provide a live cooking experience for the students and to show how they can prepare these meals at home.”
The event took place in the tiled hallway of the Rec Center between the elliptical machines and weight machines.
Andrea Okoh, Administrative Assistant at the Rec Center, joked, “We used to have this event outside the Rec, but we moved it inside so we can tempt the people working out.”
“The Rec becomes filled with delicious smelling food,” she continued. Calderon fixed two dishes. The first was a Mediterranean spinach and barley salad. Students rated it as “really good” and “the healthiest tasting salad I have ever had.”
The second dish was much more popular among the devourers.Calderon boiled pasta, prepared shrimp, and sautéed vegetables to concoct a shrimp and vegetable whole wheat pasta dish.
Consumers rated it as “very flavorful” and that it was “the most addicting pasta.” The partakers also went back for seconds and thirds. “You can see the food dance!” Calderon described as he tossed the vegetables for the pasta dish. Calderon receives all sorts of responses from his audience.
Many frequently asked questions are, “Why do you use barley in a salad?”, “Where can I get your recipe?” and “Can I get seconds?”
“Chef Tito loves these types of events where he interacts with the people, especially when he is cooking right in front of the audience. The experience is very fun for all of us,” said Orquiza.
The Rec Center makes an effort to host a healthy food demonstration with Calderon two to three times a quarter. Be sure to keep an eye out for flyers about future food demonstrations with Calderon in the Rec Center. You do not want to miss out on free delicious food samplings!