This article originally appeared on Spoon U and was written by George Thomson. It has been given minor edits before re-posting.
For America’s young foodies, the dreaded university dining hall is the epitome of where food dreams go to die. These Boston University students are trying to change that. While some colleges fare better than others in the food department (Boston University offers a visiting chef series and an annual “Lobster Night”), others are just downright sad. Many students are still left unsatisfied by the plethora of off-gray poultry, under seasoned vegetables, and bins of brown rice that populate the dining halls of America’s colleges.
Who Are These Food Engineers?
The architects of the popular @bu.food.engineer account, E-Beth Leach and Sophie Perez, are not actually in the College of Engineering. They are students in the College of General Studies hoping to eventually study communications and international relations. The foodie duo became friends after bonding in an introductory course and then decided to begin the Instagram account in January.
E-Beth and Sophie both pride themselves on their cooking skills, which was limited by their lack of access to a kitchen. In order to satisfy their need for tasty food without breaking the bank by dining out at Boston’s restaurants, they decided to become inventive in the dining hall by mixing and matching options from different stations. And so, @bu.food.engineers was born.
Engineering Some Good Eats
Some of E-Beth and Sophie’s favorite creations have been the “BU-nicorn” hot chocolate, which features hot chocolate from the dining hall, topped with whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles, and an inverted ice cream cone from the dessert station. The engineers also make good use of the waffle iron in the dining hall, using waffles as a platform for a variety of sandwich treats. One of their recent creations is a waffle panini made with cheese in the batter, and filled with pork.
While the engineers post daily content, they are often under the time constraints that many would expect for full-time college students. When they aren’t brewing up clever concoctions, they will usually opt for eating a traditional meal in the Bay State dining hall. French fries and pulled pork are notable favorites.
Engineering a Stronger Community
E-Beth and Sophie confidently say they plan on continuing their work as food engineers for their next three years as students at BU. Eventually, they would like to engage philanthropically with the greater Boston community and expand their operations into a potential student club. When they aren’t recreating dining hall staples, the duo enjoys eating out in Boston as well, citing Border Cafe in Cambridge as a favorite spot, as well as variety of food shops at Faneuil Hall.
E-Beth and Sophie reflect that their favorite aspect of @bu.food.engineers is the way that they have been able to build a community around food at BU — a testament to the unifying power that good eats can have on the community.
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