But when Chef Hari showed up in rural Southeast Ohio on Feb. 23 to celebrate the grand re-opening of a college campus market, the bright lights were on.
Ohio University’s new Jefferson Marketplace — on the ground floor of a renovated residence hall in Athens, Ohio — features a culinary studio with state-of-the art video equipment including cameras, lighting, production gear and live-streaming capabilities.
This new culinary studio in the Appalachian foothills showcases the broader intersection of food, media, and experiential learning:
- CBS Radio Chicago recently unveiled a Culinary Kitchen in its downtown studio, for live cooking demonstrations and drink tastings. Jeff Mauro, executive chef for Pork & Mindy’s restaurants, launched the studio kitchen with a live cooking demonstration February 6, preparing special food for contest winners. “It (the Culinary Kitchen) allows chefs, food industry personalities, and food-loving musicians a chance to reach an audience that they would normally not have a chance to reach . . . originating from one of the best food cities in the world,” said culinary advisor Andrew Kaplan who guided the new CBS Radio Chicago project.
- Stanford University’s 26,000-sqaure-foot dining facility features a culinary studio “to reach a larger audience while retaining the intimacy and excitement of a Food Network production,” said the school’s food management office.
- Ohio University recently renovated a large residence hall, and transformed a traditional dining area into dynamic foodie environment. Its new Culinary Studio provides a venue for live cooking demonstrations and serves as a learning lab for students. “We are making great use of the space by training students, educating consumers, and hosting vendors to showcase their products,” says Don Jackson, general manager of Jefferson Marketplace.
Prior to Chef Hari’s arrival on campus, 14 students wrote scripts, timed out cooking shows, and planned production. Besides great Indian food, students also received something equally precious: real live experience.
Andie Walla teaches video production at the Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University, Athens, OH. Photos are by the author.