We are so excited by our Summit Scholarship Winners! These chefs are going to add another layer to conversations in Boulder this September. David Gould comes to us from RISD, and shares his experience working in a University setting:
1. What drives you to cook and source your food responsibly?
As a Chef, it’s my duty, and my opportunity to cook and source ingredients responsibly. By definition, I work to maintain the traditions built around food, hospitality, and commensality—and thus it’s up to me, and us, as Chefs, to feed our communities right now, and to guarantee the sustainability of our communities long-term. On a daily basis, I design menus to highlight ingredients sourced from farmers and vendors that sell sustainable produce, proteins and products. In doing so, I try to share my passion for ingredients, like a just-picked heirloom tomato, a tiny wild strawberry just off the vine, a pasture-raised rib eye or that great funk of a soft, moldy blue cheese. The intrinsic flavors and textures of these items, and the enjoyment therein, are the driving forces behind my cooking and sourcing—a craving to share indelible food memories with my students, and communities at large.
2. What is unique about working in a university setting?
What better way is there to spread awareness about eating, cooking and sourcing responsibly, than to let our customers experience, firsthand, the fruits of eating real food, sourced from real people? I have an opportunity to teach the next generation of innovators the importance of cooking and sourcing responsibly during their college tenure. RISD students are excited and passionate kids that are ready to learn about anything and everything they’re presented with. I’ve challenged myself and my staff to show them the crucial connection between our students’ love for the arts, and my love for real food. Who knows, maybe one day they’ll go for a summer tomato and burrata salad, or a Lamb Vindaloo instead of the usual chicken fingers and fries.
3. What would we be surprised by if we spent a day in your kitchen?
My kitchen at RISD is a little different from a regular restaurant kitchen. As a self-operating college dining department, we have five dining venues and a full service catering company on campus. My kitchen is a commissary, which supplies the largest dining hall on campus, our food truck, ninety percent of all baked goods sold on campus, and a catering division. We serve anywhere from three to three thousand meals a day. I have employees that have worked at RISD for twenty-five and thirty years working alongside students from local schools and community food banks. Together, we prepare a huge majority of our menu items from scratch, sourcing as many of our ingredients from local companies and farms as we can. Our student body is made up of thirty percent international kids, and we pride ourselves in serving menu items from all over the world, every day, to give everyone a taste of home.
4. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s event?
I’m looking forward to meeting and hanging out with like-minded Chefs and food activists, many of whom I’ve followed throughout their career and look up to. I’m also psyched to explore the city with CC members, and get a taste of the local food scene. And can’t wait to network with people with the same goals, and learn their secrets, their methods, and their ideas on how to further our cause. Ultimately, I’m just excited to be there and take it all in; to leave with some new friends, new ideas and, of course, some new beers from Boulder!