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Annual Food Festival Delights Students with Caribbean Theme

by Jimmy Swansbrough '03

September 27, 2001
Contact: Bill Giduz 704/894-2244 or bigiduz@davidson.edu

Matt Garfield
Matt Garfield '04 ponders the choices on his "Voice Your Choice" survey.

The college's sixth annual "Voice Your Choice" food show charmed students once more with its taste-testing extravagance on Wednesday, September 26 in Vail Commons.

The show, sponsored each year by Dining Services, brings vendors to the college's dining hall, Vail Commons, to provide samples of new menu items. Students are invited to both sample the fare, and vote for their favorites.

This year's show was Caribbean themed, and was the largest ever. The Commons hosted 20 vendors parading their wares to happy and hungry students. The delicacies ranged from chili fudge brownies to chicken on a stick, from vegan cheese to chai tea.

Voice Your Choice
Elizabeth Campbell '05 picks up some "decadent" corn fries.

U.S. Food Service, food distributor for the college, sponsored the event, which also featured Caribbean decorations and a disc jockey playing Caribbean tunes. Dee Phillips, associate director of the board plan, along with Bonnie Dunavent and Chris Conder, Davidson's U.S. Food Service representative, coordinated this year's event, and made sure it surpassed past years in size, grandeur, and variety.

Two corporate chefs brought their skills and experience to the show. Students moved among 20 tables on the periphery of the dining room, chosing from a cornucopia of tasty morsels arrayed at each. Each student was provided a ballot by Dining Services, on which they could choose "ya-mon" or "no-mon" as reactions to the victuals on the menu.

Andrew Schoewe '03 said, "This food isn't good; it's excellent."

Ben Gaspar '04 exclaimed, "My arm's getting tired holding up all this good food!" before devouring a garden sausage from Garden Burger and moving to another line.

Voice Your Choice
Classics professor Peter Krentz samples the smoked turkey.

Matt Garfield '04 reminisced, "The cornbread stuffing is just like what grandma used to make."

Perhaps Anna Brew '05 summed the show up best. She said, "Well, variety is the spice of life, and there's plenty of both here today."

"Turntables" mobile disc jockey service added even more spice to the fiesta with hoppin' Caribbean tunes and door prizes, which included a snowboard from Sobe drink company. Disc jockey Tracy McMurray said, "Both the students and vendors seem to enjoy the atmosphere. We're all having a good time."

Phillips said that the event pays off well for some of the vendors. "Most schools have these shows, but never put any items on the menu," she said.

Davidson, however, allows the student vote to effect change. Over the past five years many new items have appeared in both Commons and the Union Café as a result of student input at the Voice Your Choice food show.

As long as students crave new culinary creations, the college Dining Services will happily provide the means.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,600 students. Since its establishment in 1837, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine. Davidson is currently engaged in "Let Learning Be Cherished," a $250 million campaign in support of student financial assistance, academic resources, and community life.

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