Photos courtesy the UNLV Epicurean Society

Warmth coursed through the UNLV community during a chilly month: October highlights the continuation of collaborative organizations and programs. Epicurean Society, while a student club focused on food enthusiasm, assisted and provided programs on campus with small bites and even lunch. Our partnerships with local groups have deepened through social and professional interactions.

The first collaboration happened with UNLV’s SNDA (Student Nutrition & Dietetic Association) for their meeting in October. Made from scratch, Epicurean Society offered snacks. SNDA members helped themselves to fish tacos, corn slaw, Mexican rice, mango salsa and beet chips. 

Fish tacos were made from extra-virgin olive oil, juice from 1 lime, chili powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, cod, vegetable oil, corn tortillas, diced avocado, lime wedges and sour cream. Our organization also offered chickpea tortillas as an alternative for individuals who have dietary restrictions, or many who only eat vegan and/or gluten-free foods.

The corn slaw was made with mayonnaise, the juice of 1 lime, freshly chopped cilantro, honey, shredded purple cabbage, corn kernels and minced jalapeño. However, our enthusiasm did not stop there. Our back-of-house committee created the Mexican rice dicing onions, using minced cloves of garlic, olive oil, ground ginger, ground coriander, ground cloves, fresh ground black pepper, white rice, diced pureed tomatoes, salt and water.

Epicurean Society’s freshly-made mango salsa came from chopped cilantro leaves, seeded and minced jalapeños, juice from a large lime, salt and mangoes. Our beet chips were a well-thought out option to balance the amount of heavy palate dishes we offered. Committee members peeled large beets, tossed them in olive oil, baked them in olive oil for a maximum of 30 minutes, set them to cool and added sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to finish the chips.

As we welcomed SNDA members, they helped themselves to Mexican-influenced dishes and beet chips as small bites. In the blink of an eye, Epicurean Society was already faced with their most anticipated and major contribution to the UNLV community: the school’s annual Art Walk. 

Hosted by the College of Fine Arts, UNLV’s Art Walk took place on October 12 from 5-9 p.m. The event is an evening program dedicated to showing respect to the Las Vegas arts community. It was a free and publicly open celebration to attend. Event attendees are able to explore the seven areas of the fine arts college: Dance, Film, Theater, Architecture, Music, Art and Entertainment Engineering and Design. Friends, families and artists were immersed into a cultural night which entailed performances by a band or choir, an art gallery visit and tastings of foods and beverages.

In preparation for UNLV’s Art Walk, Epicurean Society spent two whole days in the kitchen assembling mini-beef skewers. Our skewers were inspired by a Korean tradition, the Korean kalbi: We used boneless beef short ribs, marinated them in a mixture made with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, mirin, brown sugar, green onions and sriracha. To finish off the skewers, our green bell peppers and red onions were the perfect diffusers for the strong marinated taste. Kimchee was set on the side for Art Walk attendees to enjoy as a snack.

Our last project for the month was being involved with the first annual Las Vegas Make-A-Thon which took place at the UNLV School of Architecture. From October 19-21, The Las Vegas and Boston Hubs of the Global Shapers partnered with the UNLV Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering. Epicurean Society brought pasta salad, veggie ceviche with toasted baguettes and Caesar chicken wraps as lunch. Our committees decided to provide 110–120 servings.

Throughout the week, our teams prepared a penne pasta salad by combining chopped red and yellow bell peppers, halved grape tomatoes, sliced black olives and chopped basil to a large container. We finished it with Italian dressing, pepper and salt. Our back-of-house members then proceeded to make the veggie ceviche: It was cooked with fresh baby lima beans, finely grated lime zest, cups of fresh lime juice, extra-virgin olive oil, thinly sliced scallion, seeded and thinly sliced jalapeño, thinly sliced shallots, nectarines, avocado, julienned orange bell peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped cilantro and French baguettes.

Our Caesar chicken wraps were put together by rolling large flour tortillas with romaine lettuce, sliced bacon, shredded boneless chicken, Caesar dressing and Parmesan cheese. After finishing, we halved each whole wrap to provide a total of 120 servings. With the preparations complete, our organization provided lunch on October 20 for Las Vegas Make-A-Thon attendees.

Epicurean Society continues to leave a mark on the UNLV campus and has expanded tremendously in the past year. Members eagerly anticipate the next restaurant outing, the next SNDA meeting, a ‘Grillin Meet-ing’, and a potential fundraising event. All will come in due time.