You might have heard of Jonah Reider, the Columbia Student who became a media sensation after opening a supper club in his dorm room. Maybe, if you were really lucky, you might have eaten his culinary creations in the now infamous Hogan suite. But what exactly has he been up to since the New Yorker visited Pith, and how does he do it all? I’ve been helping Jonah for the past few months, and here’s what I’ve learned:

1. What it means to “chiffonade”


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To chiffonade something is to cut it very thinly. In French, this word means “little ribbons” so picture lots and lots of tiny sage sticks.

2. How to use a knife

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I know this sounds basic, but when youre cutting the previously mentioned sage, your knife skills better be on point. Curl your fingers under and rest the blade against your knuckles. And who said you don’t learn anything useful in college…

3. People love popcorn

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One of the first events I helped with was an evening at The Bronx Brewery with sound and light installations playing off the tanks. On the menu were three types of popcorn: harrisa, paprika, and cured egg yolk (totally not as weird as it sounds). I must have popped over 80 quarts of popcorn for around 150 people, and it went FAST. Like, free cookies in a frat house fast.

4. Simple ingredients go a long way

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Most of the ingredients for Jonah’s food come from one of his sponsors, Westside Market. For most New York students, Westside is a staple – I know I get all my groceries in its hallowed 24-hour aisles. But the things you can do with a pumpernickel loaf and some carefully selected cheese blow my usual Westside sandwich out the water!

5. Organized kitchens are key

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The latest event that Jonah cooked for was a concert and art installation at the American Irish Historical Society. The kitchen itself wasn’t huge, and the fridge space was mostly full of Guinness. Since he was cooking 6 different items for around 100 people, there was zero space for mess. Everything had its place, and a kitchen towel for wiping down surfaces becomes your best friend. Top tip: invest in some pint and quart containers for storing ingredients or leftovers. Total lifesaver. Now if only my desk was this neat…

So am I now a star chef? Not quite. But I certainly know how to avoid chopping my fingers off and where to score the types of ingredients to make my own cooking one step closer to being as #dank as the food you eat at Pith. Check out Jonah’s instagram to see what he’s up to next, and indulge in some dope food porn.