The hot ticket for Binghamton University students is a seat at the Chef’s Table. Each month, a Binghamton chef whisks twelve lucky students away for a dining adventure. The destination is just the regular dining hall, but the experience is pure restaurant-insider’s behind-the-scenes tour.
The students check out the kitchen, watch the chef prepare a unique menu, and during dinner, have the chance for some culinary conversation with the chef. Topics range from sustainability practices to nutrition and wellness to purchasing practices. The events are very popular, and reservations go fast.
Each event is hosted by one of four Binghamton chef-managers, who plan their own multi-course menu. Students with food allergies self-identify when making their reservations, and sometimes the menu adaptations become part of the learning experience as well.
Rich Herb, Sodexo chef manager, cooked for the students at the most recent Chef’s Table. He calls the event “an opportunity to meet our students in a more personal environment allowing questions to be asked and an opportunity to discuss our passion for food.”
The Chef’s Table events were created as not just a fun event for students, but as a way to showcase the culinary team’s commitment to nutrition, wellness, local sourcing and sustainability.
Like many Millennials, students at Binghamton are “very interested in the frequency of our deliveries, where their food comes from and the systems we use to calculate food production,” Herb says. The dinner affords a chance to talk about that, and any other general food/cooking questions students might have.
At the most recent Chef’s Table event, the menu featured “1,000 Vegetable” Soup in Fresh Herb-Encrusted Bread Bowls, Tropical Coconut Fried Cheese Cake.