Dorm cooking is all about perspective. You’ve got to look at what you’ve got, which often isn’t much, and innovate. When times get tough and cupboards grow bare, when all hope seems lost, when the last meal you ate was a Redbull and a stick of gum and when the only scraps left in your stocky overused fridge are a jar of mayonnaise and one single onion — that’s when perspective is key. That’s when you need to ask yourself WWGRD? What Would Gordon Ramsay Do?
Would Gordon Ramsay look at the three-week-old chicken growing fur and sulk? Would he let the sour remains of disintegrated lettuce bring him down? Of course not! He would finesse that rotten garbage into Aged Chicken Breast a la Fungi or Fermented Lettuce Jus and that’s exactly the kind of attitude one must have while attempting to cook as a dirt poor college student.
Coming home after a long day of classes you can barely afford — and coffee you definitely cannot — to a fridge full of ketchup packets you stole from McDonald’s, frozen peas and some Pringles, might be daunting to some. Not to Gordon Ramsey, though. He wouldn’t back down from a challenge like that and neither should any of us makeshift college MasterChefs. Save yourself from a sad night with a Doritos diner and ask yourself, how would Gordon Ramsay react to this arsenal of potentially poisonous produce? Would he throw it all away like a careless idiot sandwich? Of course not. Waste is never an option, especially on a college budget. So, you classy up that bowl of melting peas and crushed chips and you enjoy your Pea Puree and Pringle Soup.
An essential part of achieving collegiate culinary success is allowing yourself to make mistakes as well. So what if you don’t remember the difference between coriander and a colander? Or if your pasta is way past el dente? When encountering errors though, maybe don’t do what Gordon Ramsay would do. You cannot afford to shatter plates every time you mess up and pay your tuition at the same time.
Though innovation is key, it is not easy for all. For those of you who need a little push, here’s how I think Gordon Ramsay would gourmet up the college life:
~ Gourmet Ramen
- Fill that one plastic bowl you own with some top notch New York City water
- Empty in the contents of your $1 dollar Top Ramen since that’s all you can afford
- Microwave that sh-t
- Mix in an egg that may or may not have gone bad
- Garnish makes the meal, so pull out some stale Cheetos and that dried seaweed stuff from Trader Joe’s and salt bae it all over
- Try not to spill while you eat laying in bed
~ Cacio e Pepe
- Procure only the freshest ground pepper from the depths of Duane Reade — you can also pull out those seasoning packets you’ve collected over the weeks and weeks of takeout
- Now all you’ve got to do is dump boiled pasta, a couple of chunks of butter, a buttload of grated cheese in a saucepan and let the dish come to a boil, adding the pepper you scavenged
- Eat straight from the pan you animal
All said and done, whether you decide to follow these recipes or not, whether you’re starving to the point of eating peanut butter straight from the jar or just mildly hungry — remember to ask yourself, WWGRD?
Email Ria Mittal at [email protected]