“It all started when I was eight years old. I was always starving,” Food Dude Kevin Roberts said.
Roberts, best known for his appearance on “The Next Food Network Star,” visits colleges across America to lecture students on a healthy approach to eating on a budget and recently spoke to Knox students at an event hosted by Union Board this past Friday.
The event largely focused on nutrition, but from a practical perspective, it aimed to persuade young and less than well off college students not to forgo a balanced diet. Quizzing the attendees on health facts ranging from the commonplace to the arcane, Roberts displayed a genuine enthusiasm throughout the event for well-made and affordable eating.
Before his stint on the Food Network, Roberts had a background in clinical health kinesthesiology, to which he credits his interest in healthy eating. “It’s all about good flavor, low calories,” he said while preparing a breakfast bagel to hand out to attendees of the event,
“Students love food,” senior Union Board member David Wawzenek said. “Usually when we’re planning events, we tell our members to go out and find things, whether on the internet or on websites geared towards performers. But we found out about Kevin Roberts last year through the National Association of College Activities (NACA) and that’s how he came to Knox. There was also the possibility of free food being given out, so we didn’t want to turn that possibility down.”
Throughout the event, Roberts prepared cheap food that took little time to prepare, laced with health suggestions and an emphasis on satisfaction and speed. Even a seemingly trivial dish, such as a breakfast bagel, was purposely composed of foods to satisfy multiple nutrition requirements: bacon for protein and a bagel for fiber. Perhaps students were surprised by some of the free food in question though — the Food Dude’s visit to Knox ended with a hot sauce chugging contest amongst the attendees.
Between the fast facts and tidbits on how to avoid gaining the freshman 15 (avoid soda, do not eat sugar every day, consume sea salt or kosher salt if salt is absolutely necessary) and the audience banter (when asking students if they cared for coffee he yelled, “All right, who likes the liquid crack?”), there was a huge passion in Roberts for food.