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ISSUE 116 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/8/2002

Schuhle makes breakfast brighter

By Anonymous
Contributing Writer


Friday, November 8, 2002

In the cooking world there is Julia Childs, Emeril Lagasse and Jacques Pepin  and then there is Bon Appétit's very own Joan Schuhle, also known as the omelet lady. She's very dependable, Greg Colline, executive chef of Bon Appétit, said. She's kind of like the mom for the students and a mom for everybody back here. Schuhle came to St. Olaf three years ago after cooking for 14 years at a private boarding school. She credits her cooking knowledge to 17 years of experience in food service. But cooking is more than a task for Schuhle; she considers her work as artistic and involving creativity. Schuhle was drawn to the college for its brand new facility. She and her late husband, however, have always been fans of the academic institution. "My husband went to school here and so I've been connected to St. Olaf for years now," she said. Though Schuhle also makes pancakes and waffles, she is famous for her omelets. Colline first instructed her on how to cook omelets, and Schuhle fine-tuned the process herself. Now she cooks four omelets at one time. Schuhle said she expects her omelets will soon be an everyday enjoyment for students because of additional staffing. "We truly have a lot of fun in addition to making a good product," Schuhle said. She is grateful for the student workers and appreciates the work they do. "We have a lot of student workers and that's a great joy," she said. "I always thank them for their hard work."

Her job is an overall delightful experience for her. "I enjoy the students and I enjoy my peers," she said. "I truly like the place. It's more than just a job."

She often likes to make mornings fun by talking to students, asking trivia questions and even giving them surprises, such as cream cheese in their omelets. "Everybody needs a good start in the morning, right?" she said. The most rewarding aspect of her job, she said, is observing the students change through their years as St. Olaf students. She says first-year students tend to be more timid in the omelet line, and they wear funky clothing. As students mature over the years, they become classier students. "When they say the reason I got up this morning is to have an omelet, I tell them it goes straight to their head  it's full of protein," she said. Schuhle said she enjoys the youthful students and learns from their discussions, particularly those about music. "I have a great appreciation for the students because that is my audience," she said. Schuhle was born in Duluth, Minn., and has many talents outside of cooking. She enjoys watercolor painting, photographing barns, and developing her Japanese garden. She said she loves movies, shopping, the water, and traveling. Her last adventure was to Mexico and Mayan Yucatan where she was able to go snorkeling.





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