At 5pm there is a whirring whistle that comes from behind the kitchen doors. After a few seconds of silence, a bell rings. The girls run into the dining room, already drooling over the array of food that stretches from wall to wall. Unlike Pavlov’s dog, this campus cook, Dave, did not have to classically train the women of Chi Omega to come running at his cue, but instead he simply serves up the best meals on campus.
Dave began cooking for Chi Omega seventeen years ago but has been cooking on campus since 1991. His years of experience are evident in everything he does for the house from the unique menu to tailoring meals for upwards of two hundred sorority girls every single day. It may not seem fair that one house gets to hog his culinary talents, however, when asked why he has stuck around Chi Omega for so long he simply says, “The girls.”
And they will gladly take him. Dave knows what the house likes and goes out of his way to spoil them. The week looks something like this: big Monday night chapter dinners, taco Tuesday, a different kind of soup for every lunch, freshly blended smoothies on Wednesdays, brunch every other Thursday and ending the week is Dave’s homemade pizza on Fridays. Every dinner is served with a warm dessert or a make-your-own sundae bar. Forewarning: If you are standing in the way when Dave’s gooey fudge, crackling nutty topped and crumbling cookie crusted bars come out, lets just say you better move. The weekends are just as scrumptious with meals prepared by Chi Omega’s other cook, Jason, who happens to be Dave’s cousin.
It is safe to say that Dave is much more to Chi O than the cook who hand rolls sushi or makes the best twice baked potatoes in Champaign/Urbana. He is a dad like figure around the house who whistles while he works to a range of music from REO Speedwagon to Adele. His laugh and jolly attitude is contagious, making him the best person for a quick chat during a study break.