On Jan. 29, chef Bobby Anderson, former contestant on Fox's "Hell's Kitchen," brought a lively exposition to Geneseo for those seeking a unique meal and a new take on cooking.
Anderson was a contestant on the fourth season of the show, falling out just five episodes from the end of the season. Despite fiery-tongued Gordon Ramsey's criticisms, Geneseo was glad to open the doors of Mary Jemison and invite Anderson to put on a cooking demonstration for students and faculty.
Originally from Niagara Falls, Anderson pledged to use his newfound fame to benefit western New York. This devotion impressed many, including Campus Auxiliary Services Director Mark Scott. "He's committed to using his 15 minutes in western New York," said Scott.
Of his mission, Anderson said his motivation is "to educate kids and educate consumers."
In the spirit of education, Anderson created two unique dishes and set out to teach Geneseo how to make them. The first was a grape dipped in white chocolate peanut butter ganache, intended to taste like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Meeting with general approval, the dish typifies Anderson's overriding cooking philosophy: "I used components that touch the brain cells," he said of his creation. "It's going to touch your brain like a PBJ sandwich!"
Anderson's style is nothing if not innovative; the next dish was a bizarre avocado milkshake with, of all things, bacon brittle on top.
"I'm proud of this," said Anderson. Students' approval prompted a second and third batch of shakes after some minor blender problems were remedied.
"We're thrilled to have him here," said Jonna Anne, executive chef at MJ, "It brings a different spark to campus. Having fun, that's what it's all about."
Students clamored to meet and talk with Anderson. The presentation closed with him signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans.