Photo Credit: Candice Imam

Epicurean had a jam-packed last couple of weeks. We started off with our social game night where some of our members played Among Us, a game of deception, chaos and betrayal, and some of us played Tokaido, a vacation in a boardgame. Among Us is a lot like the old John Carpenter movie The Thing where you play with up to 10 people and 1 to 3 of you are imposters trying to sabotage the crew making sure they cannot complete all of their tasks. The game is won when either all the imposters are discovered and ejected from the ship, all the tasks are complete or the imposters kill all the crew. This game can get intense and maybe not the best game to play when we are trying to learn about each other, since a big part of the game is lying to win, but we had fun. As for Tokaido, it is a game where you are on vacation and you earn points by sightseeing and experiencing the culture; the game ends when everyone makes it to the end of the board. We hosted Tokaido games for our members to have a more casual experience with less screaming at each other with friends. Over all that was a fun night and we all got to know each other better, which made the next week’s activity even more fun. 

After getting to know each other better, the next week we did our food debate: Epicureans Culinary Clash. We set up a Google slideshow for our members to make slides based on their opinions about food for us as a club to discuss. We talked about ranking fry cuts, and that crinkly cut fries are the best according to our member Mei. One of our members shared his opinion on how oversized food is overrated, an opinion by Linh. And a ranking of beef cooking temperatures and beef cuts, done by Bryan. Also, we talked about if cereal can be classified as a salad. It was a ton of fun talking about all things food and even had to reset the Zoom meeting so we could talk even more about the topics. We are planning on doing another food debate on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving all about our opinions on Thanksgiving foods.

That same day we uploaded the second episode of Dorm Chef on our UNLV Epicurean Instagram. This month, I demoed a 4-ingredient chocolate cake in a mug, consisting of a banana, egg, cane sugar, and cocoa powder. It takes about 3 minutes to make, so it is a quick and easy treat for people in dorms with only a microwave, a mug and a spoon.

Finally, this past month we had our first guest speaker for the semester. Candice Imam, the Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement & Events of the Hospitality College. She talked to us about what it is like to work events for the Hospitality College. First, we talked about the Chaine de Rotisserie dinner that UNLV hosted. She, along with training from Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, ran front-of-house service and she talked about the process of planning the events and what goes into designing and setting the atmosphere for the event. Then she talked about her role in planning the Women in Hospitality event. She showed us what the information packet for the venders looked like, showing what materials they would get and the directions to find the building and information about how to unload all equipment. Candice also told us about how she learns things from every job and told us about how she walked around with the health inspector and how she learned more about handling more back-of-house experiences. Then we touched on the pre-planning stages for an event that got canceled by COVID-19 and the timeline of planning events. Overall, we got great insight on front-of-house event planning and what it is like working and collaborating with other companies, delivering the best product for the client. 

For the next few weeks we are looking at doing a trivia night in the form of Jeopardy. The categories will be fast food chains, food in movies, baking, equipment and utensils and Halloween candy (got to keep that Halloween spirit up). Then we are planning on doing a watch party for some food-related content; we are still picking what we want to watch but we want to try to find something new and exciting to bring to our members. We will also be having our second guest speaker for the semester and while I will not say who it is now, we want to have this guest speaker give prospective on back-of-house operations. This semester, while very challenging due to everything being over Zoom, has still been a blast.