College Gourmet; cooking and communications combined


Sophomore James Salvatori on the set for the show in the Fine Arts building TV Production Room.

Aaron York, Contributing Writer

College Gourmet; cooking and communications combined


Many know about the high-budget recipe showcases on the Food Network, such as “Pioneer Woman or “Barefoot Contessa”. A college student may have trouble being able to relate to such a show, as many of the dishes presented on them would be near impossible to recreate with the tools available in a college dormitory. This is where sophomore James Salvatori, who is a Communications/Broadcasting major, comes in. With the help of the rest of his classmates, he hosts College Gourmet, a live cooking show on West Liberty’s own radio and live program website, Topper Station.

            College Gourmet is hosted as part of the Communications 452 “Broadcasting Practicum” taught by Professor Christian Lee. The class teaches students the skills of live production through practical experience. According to the show’s host, the class is held every Spring, with the airing of the show College Gourmet coinciding with the class’ presence.

  “Each person has a different job for the production, and it rotates. The only person who doesn’t rotate is the host.” Salvatori said.

            Salvatori himself does not have any say in the dishes showcased on College Gourmet. Instead, ingredients and instructions are brought in by his fellow classmates, who also work behind the scenes on the show’s production. Because of this, the show can also be a challenge for its host. 

“I’ve gotten some really easy one, like pancakes,” Salvatori explained, “but I’ve also gotten some that were like ‘Why am I cooking this?’” 

In contrast to the typical televised cooking show, the goal of College Gourmet is not to simply demonstrate how to cook a delicious meal, but to demonstrate the live problem-solving process of cooking that a college student may need to go through.

            This show is not just a group project for a passing grade—it’s a creation formed from the passion of the broadcasting students in the COMM 452 class. Students who aren’t confident in their ability to cook may be able to find inspiration in watching one of their peers follow through with the entire process live. The show airs live every Wednesday at 3:15 p.m. on channel 14 (through Comcast’s cable system). Recordings of the broadcasts are also available on the Topper Station website by navigating to the “Campus” tab, then clicking on the College Gourmet playlist.