During the last month the Epicurean Society has been a storm of activity. We participated in our Third Annual Epiktoberfest, hosted 70 high school students from Japan for a French culinary lesson and planned our last two events for the year.

Our 3rd Annual Epiktoberfest was highly educational and a very successful event for our club members. In tandem with the Beverage Club we hosted over 50 people serving a range of beers, hosting a raffle, organizing small activities and serving a variety of passed food and a buffet. The front of the house was managed by Club President Ariel Larson, who oversaw both setup and management of the club’s front of the house volunteers.

Culinary education leaders Kevin and Jacob worked side by side with me as I directed the back of the house volunteer club members as we prepared the meal. We prepared Potato Pancakes, Schnitzel, German Chocolate Bites, Spätzle, Beer Cheese, Pretzels, Braised Red Cabbage and Streusel. We had a raffle hosting several gift baskets and Octoberfest-themed gear, a picture wall, corn hole and live music. All in all, the event was a huge success. I can’t wait to see how the event goes next year!

In addition to this event, the Epicurean Club worked closely with Chef Sandoval in welcoming 70 Japanese students over two separate classes. Over these classes we instructed the students in the preparation of a trio of French dishes. The three dishes were a Classic Nicoise Salad, Bouillabaisse with shrimp, snapper, mussels and clams, and Crème Brulee with fresh berries. Over the three-hour class groups of 4 Japanese high school students were assisted by a UNLV student volunteer while they prepared their recipes. For those of us volunteering, it was a wonderful opportunity to interact with people from another culture and work around a language barrier. It was interesting to teach others proper kitchen skills without the ability to directly communicate. I found miming and directly showing my group the most effective way to demonstrate the correct methods. Luckily we had two translators to assist in very important messages as well as the initial demonstration by the Head Chefs.

At the end of November, we’ll be hosting a Barbeque for the UNLV Hospitality Clubs at the UNLV Community Garden and then a holiday social for the student body of UNLV. UNLV has a community garden that has dozens of raised planting plots. Chef Sandoval acquired two plots for the Hospitality School to use. Earlier in the semester we planted a host of things including carrots, lettuces and rosemary. Right now we have two huge basil plants growing: one Italian, one Thai. The event will be a social for all the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Hospitality College clubs to get together.

Before the semester ends the Epicurean Society hopes to give the student body of UNLV a break from cramming information before finals week with a winter social. We’ll be playing movies, having an ugly sweater contest and other events. In regard to food, we’ll be preparing homemade hot-cocoa, apple cider, tamales, soups, donut holes, winter cookies and gingerbread people. We’re hoping this event will be a relaxing break for the students as well as an opportunity to bring in new club members in the next semester.

Next month will be my last issue before I pass off the Epicurean Society’s journalist position to another club member while I take over as President of the club in the upcoming semester. I’ll be sure to return once that position is over and I find myself back in Vegas. I promise to leave you in good hands. Until then, enjoy the company you keep and the restaurants and bars that bring you together.