My four years cooking, managing, and eating as part of Dolci stand out as some of the most important parts of my Middlebury education, and the memories that seem to most resonate whenever I return to Vermont or pass by a bustling restaurant kitchen.
Spending my Fridays in the basement kitchens of Chateau, FIC, and finally Proctor led me to many of my closest friends at Middlebury, taught me how to lead and teach peers (not without some bumps and bruises, as well as a few burns), and introduced friendships with the exceptional men and women of Dining Services who work tirelessly to serve an often under-appreciative student body. Learning how to balance the pressure of preparing a truly gourmet meal for nearly 100 people with the overarching reality that this was something we did for enjoyment remained one of the greatest challenges I faced at Middlebury, and one of the lasting lessons. Plus, it was just really, really fun (not to mention a great thing to talk about on my resume).
As was always true when we were forced to migrate to a new dining-hall home, these most recent changes will create both new challenges, as well as new opportunities (perhaps 51 Main will allow the broader town community to experience the pleasures of Dolci). And yet, I hope that some things stay the same: notably, that the organization remains well-connected with dining services, and that Dolci continues to bring together students and Midd Dining staff to collaborate, learn, make great food, and become friends.