“Let’s Cook!” | Team Delta-Chitessen

Meal Madness, our annual student cooking competition, is fast approaching! (Round 1 is on Wednesday the 19th in Allison during dinner.) This week, we’ll be featuring mini bios of the competing teams.

Today, we’re taking a look at Team Delta-Chitessen (clever, huh).

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Team Name: Delta-Chitessen
Members’ names/years: Justin Shannin (senior) and Joseph Raff (junior)
On Joseph
1) What is your major?

My major is Materials Science and Engineering.
2) What interested you in cooking?
Growing up, I was a picky eater. Midway through high school I decided that I wanted to expand my boundaries and decided to try cooking the things I didn’t like as a new way to try and enjoy them. So far, this has been a complete success and I now consider cooking to be one of my favorite pastimes. I love how it combines the creativity and intuition of art with the pragmatism and logic of science.
3) What is your level of cooking experience?
All my cooking experience is home cooking.
4) What is your favorite food (to eat and/or to cook)?
My favorite food to cook and eat is pasta. It reminds me of growing up, and I love how it is can be a blank slate for a whole range of dishes.
5) What is your cooking/food philosophy?
There is nothing more than human than breaking bread and sharing homemade food with others around the dinner table.
6) How are you feeling about the competition?
Confident! I am excited to be a part of it and can’t wait to give it a shot.
7) Are you involved in any organizations on campus?
I am the President of the Delta Chi Fraternity and the Executive Director of Supplies for Dreams, a 501(c)3 non-profit founded and run by Northwestern students. I am also a Peer Adviser.
On Justin
1) What is your major?
I am a theatre major and creative writing minor. 

2) What interested you in cooking?
I’ve always loved food and cooking. My dad led the cooking initiatives for the dinner parties and Passover seders we hosted, and I essentially fulfilled the role of sous chef.
3) What is your level of cooking experience?
All my cooking experience is home cooking.
4) What is your favorite food (to eat and/or to cook)?
My favorite food to eat is dolma, although it can be time-intensive to prepare. Dolma refers to Armenian dishes that are “stuffed,” like stuffed grapeleaves, cabbage, zucchini, etc. I’ve never had better stuffed grapeleaves than the ones my dad makes. Honestly!
5) What is your cooking/food philosophy?
“Smells have the power to evoke the past, bringing back sounds and even other smells that have no match in the present” – Laura Esquivel. I think food does the same thing.
6) How are you feeling about the competition?
Unstoppable.
7) Are you involved in any organizations on campus?
I am the Wellness Chair of Delta Chi, I’m an Resident Assistant (RA), and I do student theatre.

Stay tuned for more team bios!
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