Cooking with the 'C-Store Chef'
April 2, 2007 —
Tyler Harp is one aspiring massage therapist who prefers to do his grocery shopping at the campus C-Store.
"Call me the 'C-Store Chef' if you wish," he said, while comfortably maneuvering his way through the C-Store's aisles clad in his Sigma Pi jersey. "I guess I'm a regular here."
The junior, who boasts his own commercial massage table over in the University Village, has been known to eat T-bone steaks for breakfast, grill burgers for his neighbors, and yet shop for most non-meat items on campus.
"I definitely make a pretty mean burger," he says, "but I also cook a lot of other stuff."
Harp, in fact, cooks a lot of stuff with ingredients bought solely at the C-Store. He says the C-Store's prices are a bit higher than local groceries, but its convenience outweighs any extra cost. He describes how C-Store customers don't need a car or cash - only a meal plan - to shop there.
Pizza is Harp's C-Store specialty. He buys frozen garlic bread, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and some Oscar Meyer lunchmeat for a meal that cooks in 10 minutes and serves five - including his roommates.
"He cooks good stuff," roommate James Z. says. "But I'd like some real meat on my pizza."
Empathizing with his roommate's distaste for baked lunchmeat, Harp reveals an elaborate plan to add a frozen foods section to the C-Store. He says it might take a bit of student petitioning to be successful, though.
Step one: remove the Gatorade from the refrigerators.
Step two: install a freezer or two.
"He's right," Z. agreed, "does Gatorade really have to be refrigerated? I'd rather have beef."
But even if a C-Store frozen foods section never pans out, Harp still thinks the C-Store is a vital part of campus life. Having lived on campus his entire college career, he believes all college students should reside on campus at some point of their academic experience to truly get a taste of the university lifestyle.
And although Harp readily admits he's very close with his mother and appreciative of her cooking, he thinks students need to truly step away from their parents when they enter college.
"I'd like more students to realize that they have the ability to not only cook," he explains, "but to do lots of things for themselves."