I received a call about a month ago from the university’s manager of broadcast services who offered me an opportunity. He told me that BYU Television, a channel operated by Brigham Young University that features educational programming to audiences across the globe, was coming to campus to film its popular show “Dining with the Dean.” As part of the show, two student organizations from one university compete to serve the most appetizing meal to one of the deans at their university. The winner gets $3,000 ($1000 for the student group and $2000 for their favorite charity). Students are given three hours and $30 to cook up something amazing (or at least something the dean who sits as judge thinks will be amazing.) They also are encouraged to use items already stocked in their refrigerators.
The premise sounded like fun. Although I’m not sure how many of our students have access to this channel, which is carried by some cable and satellite providers, but the fact that a student group would walk away with $3,000 at the end of it was reason enough for me to agree to do it. We’re set to film later this week.
I have had some practice in the past. I judged the chemistry department’s chili cook-off two years ago. Of course then I had Prem Paul, our vice chancellor for research and economic development, judging alongside me. With “Dining with the Dean” I’ll be working solo. I guess that puts “Iron Chef” next on my bucket list?
I’ll admit I like to eat, with the exception of a few things like raw shellfish and tripe. I also like trying new and exotic dishes, especially in China. When I was last there in June I had conch soup that was served in a carved-out pumpkin. It was excellent. The only thing I’ve disliked there was smoked duck tongue because it was mostly gristle and I didn’t see any point in eating it. I’ve eaten fried insects in China, too. They actually had good flavor, although a little crispy.
I’m eager to see what will land on my plate come Friday. No need for exotic dishes then though.
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