Jessica Sheng (Editor-in-Chief)
Major: Digital Media Studies, Public Health minor
Hometown: Norwood, NJ
I live for The Perfect Bite. There isn’t one single Perfect Bite nor is there a recipe for it. If it’s a peanut butter sandwich, which offers one of the best Bites out there, TPB is the very center when the bread is a bit smushed from eating around it. TPB of a salad is a fork with greens, corn, a crouton and maybe a chickpea or dried cranberry methodically stacked on the tines. For the classy folks out there, a cracker with fig butter and Havarti cheese is a must-try Bite. To the erudite philosophers struggling to find the meaning of existence, I assure you: it’s not much more complicated than finding TPB and good company.
Suraj Subramanian (Business Director)
Major: Biomedical Engineering, Business minor
Hometown: Shrewsbury, MA
The combination of proper nutrition, sleep and exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle. As a busy college student, it’s easy to lose track of what we are eating when we barely have time to think about what we put in our stomachs! Spreading the word about healthy, affordable and fast eating at the UofR is the reason I joined the Spoon team. I’m looking forward to utilizing our resources to tell you more about eating right at the U of R!
Anthony Wan (Photo Director)
Year: Take 5
Major: International Relations
Hometown: Ramsey, NJ/New York City, NY
Growing up in the NYC Metro Area has given me a chance to taste probably every style of cuisine from around the world. Whether it’d be Asian, Middle Eastern or European, I’ve probably had it at some point! My favorite specific foods are Chinese Stir-Fried Ginger Sauce Crabs, Korean Kalbi Shortribs, and Japanese Toro (Fatty Tuna Belly) Sashimi… incredibly specific I know, right? I’ve grown to love tasting new foods and my only regret is not learning more about how to cook more of these delicious entrees along the way. In my past work I’ve done promotional food photo-shoots and advertisements for several NYC-area restaurants, so I am ready to bring these experiences to my new position at Spoon U!
Isabelle Chu (Assistant Photo Director)
Major: Cell and Developmental Biology, Music minor
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Since coming to college, one thing I always crave is good Chinese food. When I’m back at home, my grandma makes all of my comfort foods and teaches me some of her traditional Cantonese recipes. One of my favorite dishes is fried tofu, especially when it has lots of garlic and peppers. Another dish I love is roast side pork in shrimp sauce and a big bowl of rice. I’m all about pungent flavors!
Samantha Levin (Offline Marketing Director)
Hometown: Needham, MA
Growing up, my family’s weeks were consumed by hustling off to work and school, and then shuffling me and my sister off to dance classes and soccer games. Our meals consisted of Panera on the go, or late night Chinese take out. At the end of a long week of hard work, my family craved time together. My mom would make savory chicken noodle soup and delectable brisket, and we would sit around the dinner table discussing, debating and learning from each other. Food brings me and my family together. Food brings comfort. Food brings love.
Lindsey Schapiro (Online Marketing Director)
Major: Economics and Public Health
Hometown: Binghamton, NY
I used to eat butter. On a good day, I would eat it with pasta or bread but that was only on occasion. It’s sad to think about not how much I was missing out on! Thankfully I’ve grown out of that and can fully experience the great joy that comes with great food. Food is something that everyone enjoys and I love using it as a way to get to know a new place or culture. What is better than learning and eating at the same time? Probably not much.
Eva Reynolds (Editor)
Major: Undecided, leaning towards International Relations, with German & Spanish minors
Hometown: Falls Church, VA (as of 2009; grew up in a couple different countries)
I was a really picky eater as a kid, the biggest annoyance to my parents being my rejection of all fruit and non-potato vegetables. My dad once sat me down to eat half of an apple, and I was bawling by the end of it. Fast-forward to now and you’ll see me eagerly devouring artichoke-tomato-arugula-onion-zucchini sandwiches, blueberry pie, and spinach quiches. Unlike my narrow-minded child-self, I love trying new foods and food combinations because I’ll eat almost anything, from Velveeta Mac ‘n Cheese to crab-and-spinach-stuffed mushrooms to liverwurst to Lebanese doughnuts. Oh, and I love to cook/bake.
Sarah Teitelman (Editor)
Major: Double Major in English and International Relations
Hometown: Woodbridge, Connecticut
I’m seriously obsessed with baking. Maybe its for the lack of baking (except for Ghirardelli box brownies) when I was younger, but I definitely love baking now. While I may not be the most skilled in the kitchen, I always have fun when I bake! I’m always looking through Pinterest and baking blogs to find new things to bake and make for the next party my family hosts.
Natasha Chainani (Editor)
Major: Microbiology w/Public Health minor
Hometown: Mumbai, India AND Singapore
Food is passion, food is life. Good food is the way to my heart and emotions. Being a fussy eater as a kid, I don’t quite know when I outgrew it to become the food lover in the family. Living in Asia – the land of spices, cultures and insight, I’ve really been able to push myself to develop those culinary taste buds. A perfect weekend for me is incomplete without good wine, cheese and a trip into my kitchen or the new restaurant in Singapore. I’m all about the spices and flavours. Ever tried chocolate spiced with chili and orange rinds? Sounds like heaven to me.
Andrea Willimetz (Writer)
Hometown: New York City, NY
Food has been such an important, more than in just the nutritional sense, part of my life. Since the dawn of my TV watching years, the Food Network has always been my number one channel. I was also, not to brag, my family’s official taste tester for every meal made growing up. What can I say, I have a knack for knowing when something needs salt.
Danielle Bessette (Writer)
Major: English/Creative Writing, History Minor
Hometown: Pittsford, NY
As a year-round competitive distance runner, food is my very best friend. There are few times when I’m not hungry, so I’m always thinking about (read: fantasizing about) food. But I’m also easily bored – constantly eating runners’ staples like pasta or PB&J just won’t cut it for me, so I’m always looking for new, creative recipes to fuel my next run…and my generally hectic lifestyle.
Apples have always been one of my favorite foods (which is only appropriate for a native Upstate New-Yorker). Sometimes, I’ll even eat three or four in one day. If it were true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I can safely say I would never have to see a physician in my life.
Madelyn Rubenstein (Photographer)
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
My parents always love to make fun of me as a child because the only things I used to eat were tomatoes and pasta. Thankfully I’ve come a long way from that, but I’ve always loved very basic recipes. Anything tastes better with just a little salt, pepper, and olive oil. Coming from a house with a nutritionist as a mother, I’m always on the lookout for new healthy things to eat on campus and around Rochester. That being said, I never say no to a big cup of froyo or a nice slice of cheesecake. Food is meant to be enjoyed, bonded over, and used as a door to new experiences, culture and people. But don’t be surprised if you catch me eating a tomato like an apple.
Agnes Chen (Photographer)
Major: Business, Statistics, Minor: Studio Arts
Hometown: Shanghai, China
I absolutely love to eat – I enjoy almost all kinds of food and I’m never afraid to try new things. My favorite cuisine is obviously Chinese, but there are so many styles that vary between the different regions of China. I’m very excited about bringing my experiences with Asian cuisine to the table (so to speak!) in contributing articles to the publication that the many international students at the University of Rochester may find helpful in cooking at home or with limited resources.
Parsa Lotfi (Photographer)
Year: 2016 – Sophomore
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Food is an art. There is so much you can do, even when you have just a little. I was raised on food from the Middle East, and then grew into other cultures through my friends. It’s amazing what different cultures will do with the same ingredients. I love the endless combinations and variations that can be produced with new flavors springing up daily.
Caroline Salis (Contributing Writer – Abroad)
Major: Digital Media Studies, Minor: Computer Science
Hometown: Scarsdale, New York
I don’t eat to live, I live to eat. Since I was a kid, there was never an option for a separate dinner from the grown ups past the age of 5 – picky eaters are not allowed in the Salis house! Food has always been a core part of my life – I could talk about my love of Goat Cheese for HOURS! My favorite question to ask someone is: “What is the meal of your dreams?” or, “What are the top 5 ingredients that pop out to you on a menu?”. Regardless of whether I’m looking at food, talking about food or, best of all, eating food, I can guarantee you that my eyes are lighting up and my heart is racing! I am so excited to be a part of the Spoon University family at the University of Rochester and am looking forward to learning more from my fellow Spoon U contributors.
Hannah Vose (Contributing Writer – Abroad)
Major: English Literature
Hometown: Endicott, New York
When I was little, I used to tell my mother that my teddy bear had given me recipes and she – with her infinite patience (thanks mum!) – allowed me to put them to the test in what usually came out as a flat, purple/orange or greenish, mostly-burnt “cake” which tasted slightly of peppermint and lemon, but mostly of flour. Fifteen years later, living on my own in a new city and forced to fend for my own culinary needs, I discovered that creating easy, cheap, and vegetarian-friendly food options doesn’t actually have to end in a desperate search for water and/or toothpaste, and I’m very willing to share.
David Mullin (Marking/PR Team Member)
Major: Business, Computer Science and Political Science Minors
Hometown: Montgomery NJ
Food and Fitness are key aspects of maintaining a balanced lifestyle. One of my teachers always used to express the importance of an ancient Greek philosophy: being sound of body and of mind. I completely agree with that philosophy because when people are healthier, they feel good and enjoy life a little more. Spoon’s goal of bringing food and health ideas to students at a school such as the U of R, where students have a thirst for knowledge, can be a great opportunity for students here to achieve that balance.
Interested in joining the team? Like us on Facebook for more information!