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The Food Dude Visits Roanoke

Photo Courtesy of Christy Blevins
Photo Courtesy of Christy Blevins

By Christy Blevins


College is a hard place to try and be healthy, yet “The Food Dude,” Kevin Roberts, came to Roanoke College to teach students how to do that. On January 31, Roberts entertained about 20 students in the Wortmann Ballroom at 7:30 p.m.

Although not true to its advertisement as a “cooking class,” the Food Dude’s show proved to be entertaining to the students and contained interesting facts.  During the show, Roberts attempted to teach students some “cheap, simple, tasty,” and healthy ways to survive college and dorm life.

By the end of the show, students had new nutritional knowledge and were ready to compete in the hot sauce drinking competition. This part was held because Roberts is a spokesperson for Franks Wing Sauce. The first place winner received one of Roberts’ cookbooks, and the second, third and fourth, place winners got to choose between a second cookbook, a t-shirt, and chips and salsa.

His first item of the show was to talk about breakfast. More specially, how it is, as the cliché goes, the most important meal of the day, and every student should eat it. According to Roberts, it is important to eat breakfast because it kick starts the metabolism. To add an extra kick, he recommended eating breakfast cereals, such as Kashi, with Soy or Almond milk instead of regular milk.

Throughout the night, samples of food and ingredients were passed out, and the first of these samples was “Silk” milk. Roberts preceded to give away the leftovers of all the food and ingredients on the table to lucky students after the samples were passed out.  Roberts also toasted a grapefruit with cinnamon and left it toasting until the end of the show.

Roberts’ show was very interactive for the students, particularly when he quizzed students on national information randomly. Those who shouted out answers correctly were thrown a bottle of hot sauce, or a food item from the table. In showing students other meals, he discussed how to create delicious and fast meals involving common college appliances such as a toaster ovens or items found in residential kitchens. His point was convenience gourmet, not restaurant gourmet.

Junior Taylor Briese, a student in attendance, said, “I appreciated learning about healthy eating habits for college, but it was called gourmet cooking which is not what it was.”

Other food handouts during the night included ingredients bought from Kroger. This included Chobani yogurts, bananas, kiwis, Goldfish crackers, a potato, honey, and more. Roberts joked most of the night and continued to make jokes about “taking shots.” In fact, at one point he passed around shot of apple cider vinegar to students. Along with the vinegar he also persuaded students to taste test raw ginger.

Following the hot sauce drinking competition at the end, “The Food Dude,” talked a little bit more about his cookbooks, how to purchase them, and his show “BBQ PitMasters” on TLC. Roberts finished making a lemon/lime honey ginger tea at the very end and gave samples to students as they left.