| 03.20.2018

Reality TV hits UI campus

Two student clubs were contacted about participating in a reality TV show on the University of Idaho campus Monday, but what they didn’t know until today was that they would be preparing a three-course meal for College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences Dean Kathy Aiken.
“Dining with the Dean,” a BYU TV reality show, shot the final portion of its episode on the UI campus at 4 p.m. in the Student Union Building ballroom where Aiken and the two student groups participating — Circle K and Vandal Snow — met for the first time.
Prior to the meeting, each team prepared an appetizer, entre and dessert for an unknown dean, with the requirement to use one item from their house. Aiken sampled each course, voted on her preference and at the end selected the winner who would receive a $3,000 check.
At the end of the last course, the check was brought on stage — $2,000 going to the winning club’s chosen charity and $1,000 for its general fund. When it came time to unveil the check it was Circle K who prevailed in the cook-off. The charity of choice for the club was Kiwanis Children’s Cancer Program.
Shawnee Davis, a freshman member of Circle K, said the group applied Oct. 6 and found out Monday they would be participating, but “had no idea” until today they had to cook.
Aiken judged the food based on taste and presentation, which she said throughout, was difficult because the two were so close. Coincidentally for the entre, both teams served salmon — the item they each brought from what they already had at their house.
“They had salmon at their house?” Aiken said.
She said even though she is more of a “meat and potatoes” person both salmon dishes were good and she was surprised by the selection — salmon chowder and salmon on rice.
“These are both delicious and they look beautiful,” Aiken said.
Despite being impressed with the entrées, and appetizers of salad and pizza, Aiken said she’s one of those people who like to go straight to dessert.
“Dessert is my favorite … these are the most difficult,” Aiken said.
She was served a peach tart and Doris’ Famous Chocolate Pie, both of which she decided to try multiple times to find the winner.
“These both look so beautiful I almost hate to touch them,” she said.
Before announcing the winner, Aiken said she was surprised by what the students chose to prepare and how they prepared them. Aiken was asked by Dean of Students and Vice Provost of Student Affairs Bruce Pitman to be the sitting dean because he would not be in town when the show was on campus, said Greg Tatham, assistant vice provost of Student Affairs.
Tatham said Pitman asked him to organize the show since he would be out of town. He said he then contacted Denise Carl, student engagement coordinator for ASUI, and ASUI President Samantha Perez to help him recruit student groups. He said he thought UI would get some great exposure from the episode.
“I thought it was great. I’d seen the clips they provided on TV and thought it was a good opportunity for the University of Idaho,” Tatham said.

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