By student Meadow Kinder
Evan Edwards is Thoreau College’s very own vegan chef extraordinaire. A meal that highlights his cooking style was when he prepared us beet slabs and fried bananas, topped with tempeh, toasted walnuts, mustard microgreens, and garlic yogurt sauce. Evan has been working with food since he was a young boy in his dad’s pizza restaurant. When he became vegan in college, he was forced to make big strides with his cooking to follow his dietary discipline. Along with his interest in gastronomy, he majored in philosophy, taught at multiple colleges including DePaul and Loyola, and relied on his food abilities to support himself by working at many restaurants.
Evan met Jacob Hundt at a Thoreau Society annual gathering a few years back and they, as Evan proclaimed “really hit it off”. With restaurants closing because of Covid-19 and his desire to use this time to work on his dissertation, Evan reached out to Jacob and asked if a chef was needed at the college. Without hesitation, Jacob agreed to have him here as a chef and a teacher, making learning about culinary and nourishment accessible to us students! From Evan, we have learned amazing preparations such as making hummus, tempeh, yogurt, vinegar and sauerkraut. Equally, we have been able to enjoy a variety of dishes made with ingredients provided by local farms and co-ops. We love Evan and all the wonderful things he brings to our community, whether that be in the form of food, philosophy, or personal relationships. Semester student Brandon Ipiña says “Evan being in this community is actively pushing us to be comfortable with asking questions and to develop our relationship with food and what it means to eat. I remember when I first met him he brought me a bowl of butternut squash soup and we talked about philosophy. Throughout the program I have gained a curiosity about what it means to eat and had the pleasure of having him as my guide.”
Evan’s semester-long position will be drawing to a close further along in December. His absence will be palpable, but we’re delighted for his return to his near and dear folks in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
(Photo: Evan and his young one, River)