Campus Conversation

Spring break brought a number of changes to our favorite on-campus non-Valentine eatery. Among the new additions to Schwemm’s “Gourmet” Coffee House are new coffee brewers to replace the ugly urns from the days of yore, or winter, at least. But the most visible change is a new, menacing, black box of a computer.

The computer replaces the yellowed-with-age telnet terminals on which years, or it sometimes seemed generations, of students checked their emails. With the changeover last year to the exchange-based system, the VAX terminal was put out to pasture.

“I thought it was an automatic vending machine,” said Shigemi Ando ’03 of the computer’s sleek, post-modern design. “Something you would find in a youth hostel.”

Mirroring the College’s recent change to black computers in the Fishbowl, the new Schwemm’s machine could be starting a trend to transform the late-night snack stand to a true, artsy cafe. Could a swarm of beatniks be next?

Measuring over four feet tall and weighing in at a respectable 100 pounds (more or less), the computer features a shiny new monitor, mouse and keyboard. It has only one problem.

It doesn’t work.

“It’s pretty but the fact that it doesn’t work is not conducive to what it’s here for,” said Schwemm’s employee Arshia Choudhury ’04. “Everyone’s been complaining about it; I’ve noticed that.”

Looks clearly aren’t enough for this new-age machine to make its way into Amherst students’ hearts. Not everyone is impressed. “Does that mean they’re going to paint the campus center black?” said Elizabeth Chiang ’05.

Then again, maybe there’s a reason that things like “the little black dress” prevail. “Black is sexy,” said Parsiri Audcharevorakul ’05.

Kiss the cook

If ramen hadn’t been invented, what would we starving college students eat? Wait, is that garlic, roasted nuts, gourmet cooking that I smell? It’s totally possible with Chef Matthew Moses ’02.

Flinging onions right and left and madly dicing tomatoes, Moses showed off his cooking skills in “No More Ramen” on Monday night as part of the Real World Series-workshops organized by upperclassman RC’s.

“He loves talking about food, sharing food, making food, eating food,” said Sonya Martin ’02. “I love to watch him talk about food. He has a lot of energy.”

Moses’ passion for food was obvious as he demonstrated how to peel garlic, dice an onion and handle fennel (a licorice-scented root vegetable). But this was no ordinary cooking class. Sure, he showed how to cut an onion without tears, but he also showed how to hold a match between your teeth while chopping. “I learned how to not cut my fingers off,” said Dave Choffnes ’02.

Moses compiled a six-page handout covering topics ranging from storing food in the freezer to how to keep it cheap along with a few easy recipes to try out. All participants got hands-on in the kitchen, preparing bean bruschetta, roasted eggplant with tomatoes and peppers, potato and fennel gratin and-Moses’ own recipe-arugula salad with strawberries and walnuts.

“I’ve learned more about cooking in the past hour than my mom has ever taught me,” said Erin Allaman ’02.

“Working in a restaurant sucks ass,” said Moses. “You don’t get a chance to have fun with food.”

“He should win the Iron Chef!” said Allaman. Moses isn’t participating in the competition, but oooh � imagine the possible creations.