Spoon University, an online publication about campus cuisine written by college students, has 226 chapters in the United States. It’s most popular chapters are at New York University and the University of Southern California, schools whose campuses are adjacent to cities with 24,000 and 8,596 registered restaurants, respectively. It’s easy at schools like these for a food blog to find content, but for Kenyon’s chapter of the publication, the school’s rural location has posed a challenge.
“It feels sometimes like we don’t have many options,” Spoon University editor Brianna Maggard ’19 said. “But we do. We just don’t quite know how to use them.”
Many of the articles up on the Kenyon chapter’s website have to do with Peirce Hall — “Your Gluten Free Guide to Peirce” and “5 Members Share their Peirce Food Hacks” are some examples — but in the future, editors Maggard and Catherine Gouchoe ’19 want to focus more on dining out, both on and off campus.
“We actually want to highlight Mount Vernon, because there have been so many new restaurants in the past three years that I’ve been here,” Gouchoe said. The duo is also excited about the planned return of the Gambier Deli, as well as the arrival of a new restaurant, Chilitos Fresh Mex and Margaritas, on Gaskin Avenue.
Since its first meeting this semester, Spoon University has partnered with recreational and food groups on campus to host events, such as hosting a food trivia night at the Village Inn as well as a raffle with a prize of either a free meal from Sunday Night Nibbles, a student-led food preparation and delivery service on campus, or a gift card to North Main Cafe, Maggard’s favorite restaurant in Mount Vernon. This Sunday, the organization hosted a workshop that taught students how to prepare three different breakfast recipes with ingredients bought from the Village Market.
In addition to informing students of the food options available to them in Knox County, Spoon University seeks to help students eat nutritionally with limited resources. “First of all,” said Maggard, “utilize Peirce. It’s our one dining hall on campus, and a lot of their ingredients are from local sources.”
Gouchoe and Maggard also stress finding the time to prepare your own meals, even if you live in a dormitory with no shared kitchen, which is true of the dorm buildings in the first-year quad. “What we want to promote is creativity on campus,” Gouchoe said. “Using your resources as much as you can, even if that means going the extra mile.”
According to Spoon University, just because good food might be hard to find doesn’t mean it’s not there. “Any big city has a guide of how to eat there,” said Maggard. “And we like to think about this campus as its own city.”