KINGSTON, R.I.- March 27, 2019- The lounge in Ranger Hall at the University of Rhode Island became a kitchen last week and was filled with public relations students eager to learn a thing or two from well-known chef Frank Terranova.
Terranova was invited to appear in Regina Bell’s class on Wednesday as part of a year-long effort to educate students on food insecurity and how they can eat healthy on a budget.
“Frank was terrific because he showed students in a real way how they can prepare healthy, economical dishes and he showed the students they can have fun doing it,” Bell said. “Many of our students face financial challenges, and I thought the activity with Frank would tie together much of our discussions on food insecurity.”
Students watched – and smelled – as Terranova whipped up two healthy, simple dishes. The first was a Mediterranean salad made up of garlic, onions, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, salt pepper and lemon served in a romaine lettuce wrap. The second was a warm vegetable-infused couscous that started from a vegetable broth base that mimicked the taste of meat through the infusion of mushrooms and other vegetable rinds. Terranova then added squash, green peas, carrots and parsnips and topped it off with some fresh lemon.
While adding ingredients to the magnetic-powered heating plate, Terranova answered questions from the students and offered his expertise on a wide range of topics, including the controversy around coconut oil, the sixth sense also known as umami, and how to sniff out a quality olive oil. He also touched on the importance of taking cooking seriously as a college student.
“Everybody wants to eat,” stated Terranova. “It is important to keep cooking manageable and be mindful. Be selective in the ingredients you purchase and spend time seeking out quality goods in order to get the most bang for your buck. For example, nothing beats good, fresh herbs.”
By the end of the hour, Terranova’s creations yielded enough to feed the entire room and some students who were just passing through on their way to class. The fresh, healthy meals received great reviews and did not go to waste.
“It is hard to balance school, eating well and all the other obligations students have so food can be made into a social event,” explained Terranova. “Get informed about good ingredients and make them the center of conversation.”
Olivia Ross, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations major, wrote this press release.