Students will be treated to a smorgasbord of culinary delights this spring when eminent chefs from Boston-area restaurants visit college dining halls.
As part of a new program to spice up the undergraduate dining experience, Dining Services Director Michael P. Berry said he has invited executive chefs from six prominent area restaurants to plan, serve, and oversee an evening's meal in the dining halls.
Berry said the program "will give students a break from the regular menu cycle and expose house cooks to culinary training and development."
Each of the twelve houses and the Freshman Union will host two visiting chefs in the next few months.
Chef Reggie A. Sylvain of Bob the Chef's Soul Supreme Restaurant in South Boston earlier this week shared his cooking talents with the dining staffs of Eliot, Kirkland, Leverett, Lowell and Winthrop.
"The most exciting part is that students will get to sample a restaurant that they would most likely not have the chance to," said Michael J. Bacon, manager of the Leverett House Dining Hall.
And students are not the only ones who will benefit from the experience, according to Bacon.
Visiting chefs will share special recipes and cooking techniques while preparing meals alongside house dining staffs.
"It was fun for the staff to learn a different way to prepare a meal and to improve the food with a subtle touch," Bacon said.
According to Christopher Douglass, executive chef of Icarus Restaurant, visiting chefs will use recipes and presentation to bring a touch of fine dining experience to the dining halls.
"This is a unique and interesting program about which I am very excited," said Douglass, who will be Quincy House's "chef emeritus" in mid-March.
But the program is more than just a dining experience, according to Berry.
House committees will organize community service events in the area of their guest chef's restaurant to reciprocate the chef's gratuitous services.
"I have cooked and conducted demonstrations for benefit events," said Douglass, "but this program is interesting in that it will result in a direct contribution to the community."
Participating restaurants include Cafe Budapest in Boston, Icarus Restaurant in the North End, The Pillar House in West Newton and The Publik House in Boston.