• Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon

Add us on Instagram for photos of great food and great friends!

Check out our Twitter for Conversation Crutches!

Alex TenBarge
Jun 12, 2018

Day 9: San Diego Here We Come

1 comment



What’s Cooking is now 6 months old and the journey has been one I hold dear to my heart. With each and every day my passion and desire for our idea to grow gets stronger. So far we’ve been a part of, or applied to three pitch challenges to gain investment for our company. Our first pitch was on April 8th and it was hosted by the Fordham Foundry. The Fordham Foundry is an incubator for Fordham startups and they describe themselves as “not just any business incubator, a commitment to business that advances society in a way greater and more meaningful than profit.” It’s a really neat place and has become a second home to me. I’ll be writing a story about it soon. Anyway, April 8th was a great day. We experienced our first opportunity to share our idea and see if it was worth investment money. Though we didn’t win first, we did win people’s choice award for $1000! It was an honor to receive that award, knowing the people in that audience voted for and believed in our idea was inspirational. The second pitch we applied for was through SI360 (Social Innovation 360) an organization on our and many other campuses that prioritizes socially conscious thinking when creating a business. Although we put lots of effort into preparation for the pitch, we did not make it. The third and current last pitch we applied for was the “Global Social Innovation Challenge” held at the university of San Diego. It was created through an organization called the Social Innovation Collaboratory which is on many campuses across the world including Fordham. It has three rounds to pass in order to qualify for the event. We sent in our application. Soon after, we heard that we had made it to the second round. We were stoked to hear this because out of the 20 teams that applied from Fordham, only four made it to round 2. However there was still the third round to pass. After creating a video to send in and completing a dense application, we sent our best shot. As the weeks went by we wondered if this could actually happen. Out of the hundreds of teams that apply, only forty or so would be accepted into the challenge. We were then notified that we did not make the cut. Only 2 of the 4 teams from Fordham were sent and it was not us. Although we were let down, it did not deter our motivation.



This all changed up until last week. According to Carey, one of the directors at the Social innovation Collaboratory at Fordham, one of the teams had dropped out of the competition. This meant that another team had to take their spot. One afternoon as I was getting out of work, Joe called me telling me a team had dropped out and we were next in line to go. We were ecstatic. What’s Cooking will actually go to an event made up of teams all across the world. Although this was great news, it did come late. We are currently at a disadvantage in terms of prep time compared to the other teams. We have so much to do in so little time. The pitch is June 23rd at USD. Joe and I are making the trip out there to share our idea. Times are crazy right now and I’m the busiest I’ve ever been. Leading up to the pitch which is next Saturday I intend on writing more stories in the theme of What’s Cooking and how we’re preparing for the challenge. Tomorrow’s story is a bit special so it may not fall under these terms. Thank you for reading and I hope you want to stay for the journey.




Joe Zoyhofski
Jun 12, 2018

Here we come!

New Posts
  • Robert Quintas
    Apr 30

    As I chop away at the head of fresh lettuce beneath me, I walk back to my fridge to collect the rest of my ingredients. Immediately after grabbing feta, tomato, cucumber, and olives, my ears tune in to the blaring sound of my timer, indicating to me that it is time to flip the chicken. I make my way to the stove, and as I stand there, I take a chance to take in the aroma of the garlic- seasoned chicken cutlets, sizzling in the pan. After flipping the cutlets and adding a pinch of salt and pepper, it comes to my attention that the garbanzos in the pan next over are done cooking. I slowly empty them into a large serving bowl, and I make my way back to the counter where I can finish my salad. In what seems like a situation of chaos and complications, I am actually in a state of peace. For me, cooking is a state of mind. The enjoyment in the act itself has little to do with the end result. Don’t get me wrong; I love food just as much as the next guy, if not more. Yet, there is something almost therapeutic about the actual process of preparing food that I find intrinsically satisfying Gathering and mixing my ingredients is menial labor that allows for a bit of creative freedom. The physical aspect of it is not challenging, but it requires some sense of coordination and rhythm. The beating of eggs, the stirring of batter, the mincing of ginger: these are all movements that don’t stress the mind, but the simplicity of these tasks do instill a sense of relaxation and mindful tranquility. Yet, there is also flexibility; recipes should not and do not exist as precise rulesets. Instead, they are general guidelines, and that gives me the ability to experiment and integrate my own originality into the dish by means of deviating from the suggested mixture of ingredients. I take a moment to imagine how a meal would taste by adding a specific component. Would this savory piece of salmon benefit from the addition of a sweet honey marinade? The recipe doesn’t call for basil, but do I want to add that herbal essence to these baked potatoes? Each ingredient has its own identity, and with so many of them at my disposal, there is almost a limitless amount of possibilities in what I am able to create. It’s all dependent on what kind of flavor and texture I desire. And even in those moments where action and thought are not required on your part, you still have to maintain some focus. Your hands may be away from the knife or the oven, but maybe you are paying attention to the timer, the thermometer, the scent of the food, the redness of the meat, etc. It is in those moments of patient concentration where you stand and breathe, unconcerned with whatever is going on outside the kitchen that bring peace of mind. Finally, once the timer is up or your instincts tell you the dish is complete, it is then that your cooking session is finished, and you can bask in your accomplishment. It is the perfect combination of meditation and multitasking, the best balance of mindfulness and peace. For that reason, I love cooking.
  • Amanda Blaze
    Nov 2

    As a college student, it is not often that I get the chance to bake while at school. I am always very busy and since I live in a dorm, I have to either borrow or buy all the materials. Last week my friend and I were looking through the cabinets of the communal kitchen and found most of the ingredients to make cornbread, something I have never made before. We felt really excited and motivated, (and I had a lot of homework that I did not want to do) so we went to the grocery store and got the rest of the ingredients at the grocery store. We spent about an hour making this cornbread, and since there are people coming in and out of the lounge all the time, many people knew we were making it. I was really excited to share it with everyone, so I could barely wait until it was cooled to cut into it. I split a piece with two other girls and we all tried it at the same time. I bit into it, chewed a little, then had to restrain myself from spitting it out. Not to be dramatic, but this cornbread tasted like poison. It was so unbelievably gross that I rinsed my mouth out with water. Obviously, I wasn’t going to suffer alone, so I still had all my friends try it, but I was so embarrassed! Not to be cocky, but the last time I made something that didn’t taste good was in 7th grade when I made Nutella cookies and accidentally put in three cups of water instead of three tablespoons. Those were pretty bad, but I had never made something as inedible as that cornbread. Logically, since I was using a lot of communal ingredients that I didn’t really check for safety, one of the ingredients was probably expired in some way. However, it was still something I took as a personal blow to my reputation as a baker. However, once I thought about it more, it was a blessing in disguise. It was a reminder to not place so much importance on the end result and to enjoy the journey getting there. It was a reminder to be okay with failure. Most importantly, it was a reminder to not take myself too seriously. Now I know not everything I make is going to be delicious and honestly? I’m okay with that. � �
  • Amanda Blaze
    Apr 5

    Something that I love to do is share what I make with the people that I care about. There is something special about putting a lot of time and effort into something and being able to put a smile on someone’s face. Recently, I have gotten into the habit of bringing baked goods back to my friends at school after a break where I have the opportunity to use my kitchen. After winter break I brought my friends each a large slice of banana bread, saran wrapped and labeled with their names on them. Surprising people with homemade treats is great because it is easy to make a big batch of something at a low cost, but it is still a meaningful and delicious gift. Over Spring Break I was really interested in making cookies, so on the day before heading back to Fordham I made about 30 chocolate chip cookies and sorted them in piles on top of sticky notes with the recipients' names on them. It was hard to make sure my grandmother and brother didn’t eat them all before I had given every person at least two cookies, but other than that it was just an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend an hour or so before being thrust back into the business of classes and extracurriculars. I delivered all of the goods the day I got back and it was so nice to give something back to the friends who mean so much to me. Besides, who would say no to a homemade cookie? I certainly wouldn’t (and that why I set some aside for myself!). � �