Cooking in dorms made simple

In order to skip the lines and the stiff hours of the dining halls, some St. John’s students choose to cook in their dorms. With a multitude of recipes, including exotic dishes like baked ziti, students are utilizing their culinary skills in an effort to save money and time.

As an aspiring chef, Jehan Ibrahem, a junior living in Henley, has created numerous savory meals for her suitemates. From rice and beans to various chicken dishes, Ibrahem uses the kitchen in an effort to bring members of the suite closer together, eat healthy, and save money. 

“I like to think of this kitchen as a place where we can all come together and eat. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s convenient,” said Ibrahem. “I can make food when I want, and I can cook the foods I like to eat.”

 Students living on campus have the ability to cook using the resources supplied in the dorms. Stephanie Kalousdian is a prime example, a junior living in the on-campus townhouses. As a student without a meal plan, Kalousdian takes advantage of the full kitchen, preparing meals each day. 

“It’s so much easier for me. I don’t have to worry about not using all my weekly meals. I can buy food when I need it, and it’s the food I want to eat,” said Kalousdian. “One thing we make a lot is Greek salad. Cut up your lettuce, throw in your tomatoes and onion, grill some chicken and throw it on there. Put some pita and tzaziki sauce and you’re good.” 

 A potential concern for many students who want to cook is finding grocery stores, and learning how to create certain meals. Many St. John’s students have never cooked before, outside of boiling water for pasta or making eggs. Fortunately, there are numerous recipes that students can follow for delicious alternatives to the dining hall. 

 John Clancy and Daniel Bayley, two residents of the townhouses, have cooked all kinds of Italian specialties, hosting “family dinners” once a week for friends. From chicken cutlets to pasta with sausage, Clancy and Bayley have proven the possibility of cooking great meals on campus. 

“We really like to cook. We all make a meal and invite people over to eat. We sit as a family—it’s something to look forward to each week,” said Bayley.

 There are numerous culinary resources, most of them free, that St. John’s students can take advantage of. Moreover, Web sites offer step-by-step recipes, making it easier to create various meals. 

 Residents of the townhouses Nick Lopiano and Kevin Garcia have joined the recent switch to on-campus cooking. In agreement with Ibrahem and others, they value the different aspects that cooking allows for. 

 “St. John’s gives you all the resources you need to cook,” said Lopiano. “You just have to get the food. It’s easier, and we can eat foods that on-campus dining may not offer. We don’t have to leave the building so it’s convenient. We like it a lot.”

 Most students seem to be positively involved with cooking on campus, claiming it is the more convenient option for their lifestyles. Most of the residence halls have made the effort to supply students with the necessary tools to cook, with kitchens built on every floor. 

 These students have created a recent shift from eating in the dining halls to creating their own culinary delights. Through their resources and the accessibility St. John’s allows in the dorms, students now have the option of cooking for themselves.