photos by Sk Delph

The Fall 2019 semester has just begun for UNLV students. As we all try to get back into the school routine, our small but mighty leadership team for Epicurean Society is starting off strong. The team this year is made up of our Co-President Jennipher Chung; our Treasurer Leslie Barba-Murillo; then me, Co-President and Journalist. Even though we were all away for the summer, we still eagerly planned for the upcoming semester. 

To begin, we knew we wanted to represent ourselves at the New Student Hospitality Welcome event held at Hospitality Hall. Held right after UNLV Creates, it’s a wonderful opportunity for incoming hospitality students. Here, students have an opportunity to explore our beautiful Hospitality Hall and meet staff members as well as fellow students. It’s also a wonderful time to learn about all the opportunities our hospitality program offers and ways to be involved. The hospitality program at UNLV offers a variety of student organizations, all providing exclusive experiences within the industry and amazing networking opportunities to enhance a student’s future career. As the enjoyment of food is what we’re all about, we decided to also offer a light snack at our booth for the event. We came up with simple, but delectable crostini to offer to students: a classic appetizer consisting of garlic toasted baguettes, basil pesto, sundried tomatoes and a light drizzle of olive oil. The appetizer was a huge hit amongst students and were completely gone by the end of the event. This also aided in gaining more attention to our club and what we’re all about. Epicurean Society really gained a lot of interest at the welcome event, leaving us hopeful and excited for the semester ahead. 

Our next event to host a table at was the UNLV Involvement Fair. This event is held soon after school starts and is an opportunity to all students to learn more about UNLV’s student organizations. Though this event is not specific to the hospitality program, our organization is open to all students of all majors. Food is something that brings all people together, making it an excellent opportunity to meet new people sharing the same passions and interests. While it was not as large of a turn out for us as the hospitality welcome event, we still gained interest from students outside of the hospitality program. It also provided the chance to meet some other student organizations from around campus, potentially leading to future partnerships between our organizations. 

After all our time and effort marketing Epicurean Society, it was time for the first meeting of the semester. For our first meeting, we wanted to take the opportunity to explain in greater detail what we do and what members can expect this semester. We wanted to take the opportunity to show past experiences, as well as discuss all the ways members can be involved. Again, as food is our passion, we knew we were going to offer something delicious for our new members to eat. Sharing a meal also encourages people to mingle more and connect with each other. Our leadership team decided we wanted to offer something relaxed, yet fun and more involved. Together, we came up with the idea for a tacho bar, or in other words, tater tot nachos. Along with fresh, golden brown tater tots, we offered a wide variety of toppings: ground beef, cheese, sour cream, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos and a variety of sauces. Our team also opted to provide fried chicken wings and a selection of sauces to customize them: spicy Buffalo, ranch, BBQ sauce and sweet & sour sauce just to name a few. To wash it all down, we provided fresh Thai milk tea and the variety of sodas the 4th floor executive kitchen has to offer. 

Chef Mark Sandoval and his team, along with Jennipher and her back of house team, worked all morning to ensure our tacho bar all came together. Then, as our meeting began, our leadership team was overwhelmed by the response. Almost thirty students showed up and filled the executive kitchen, the largest turnout for a meeting our team has ever seen. As students dug into the meal we created, sounds of laughter and conversation filled the air. The energy buzzing in the kitchen was truly magnetic. Our leadership team thoroughly enjoyed getting to connect with new members. This is the core of what we are all about. While we all, of course, love food, what we love even more is how it brings us together. And as the meeting wound down and came to an end, we all felt the momentum we created. Our team has a lot planned for the year that we’re really excited to execute and hope that you’ll continue to follow us along.