In hopes of capturing the essence of Virginia Tech student dining, alumnae Krista Gallagher and Kris Schoels have recreated some of the best recipes from around campus.
In their new cookbook, “A Taste Of Virginia Tech,” authors Gallagher and Schoels guide readers through the amazing food surrounding this university. From dining halls to downtown Blacksburg, Gallagher and Schoels have the favorites covered in the recently released book.
With an acclaimed dining program, it’s understandable students and alumni would crave the food at Tech. For co-author Gallagher — a 2003 graduate with a Bachelor of Science in human nutrition, foods and exercise — this nostalgia for campus dining lead her to the idea for a cookbook dedicated to Tech eats.
“I started thinking about the university and missing all these amazing dishes that I just adored when I was in college — the soups from West End, London broil, mashed potatoes," Gallagher said. "I found so much comfort in those when I was at school.”
Gallagher began to wonder, “What makes the food at Virginia Tech so awesome?” Tech dining is special, Gallagher said, because most colleges’ food do not have a good reputation.
“I just thought there was something really special about it, and then once I started doing some research, I realized that there was a real story behind the success of the food at Tech,” she said.
At one point in her new project, Gallagher’s progress on the cookbook stalled. She enlisted the help of Schoels, a fellow Delta Delta Delta sorority sister and 2005 graduate with a BS in fashion merchandising.
Although the two first connected as undergraduates over a mutual love of Britney Spears, post-grad they discovered they also shared affinity for the food at Tech.
“It’s been a really great partnership. We have definitely been on the same page the entire time,” Schoels said. “And now we are better friends than we ever were at school.”
“A Taste of Virginia Tech” features 80 recipes, including 15 from West End Market and five from the recently opened Turner Place at Lavery Hall, in addition to numerous recipes from Blacksburg restaurants such as Cabo Fish Taco and Gillie’s.