Good food, good conversation, and even better company.
It all began with a picture of a sandwich. That’s how Vayu Maini Rekdal began to entice, lure, and then ensnare the attention and curiosity of Carleton College. What began as a series of “Sandwich of the Day” pictures on the Carleton College 2015 Facebook page morphed into FireBellies, Carleton’s only cooking club. Today, FireBellies is working to promote an understanding of different cultures and backgrounds through the universal language of food, while educating people in healthy and sustainable cooking.
The events encompass a vast array of cultural, social and geographical themes: past examples include Foodgressives (cultural food tastings), Baking classes, Molecular Gastronomy Workshops, Fancy dinner get-togethers, skill-building classes, and Top Chef dining hall competitions. Currently, Firebellies holds weekly events, collaborating with Bon Appetit and a number of Carleton organizations to bring new culinary experiences and connections. The organization operates on several levels, enabling opportunities for extracurricular activities, community projects, and independent academic studies. By integrating passionate students with the Carleton academic curriculum and the wider Northfield community, Firebellies works towards eliminating food illiteracy at Carleton and beyond.
With over 700 students receiving weekly updates from the club email list, and well attended weekly events, FireBellies is one of Carleton’s largest and most active clubs. Word of mouth has spread even off of campus, as the work of Firebellies has appeared in a number of high-impact publications, including The Chronicle of Higher Education and on NBC news.
Feedback? Ideas? Want to get involved? Contact us by leaving a comment on our Facebook page, wordpress account, or emailing Charlotte Mann (email@example.com)
Pedro Girardi ’19, President
Major: Economics and Statistics
Spirit vegetable: Basil
Firebellies is awesome because it is the intersection of social life and culinary. The club has allowed me to bring together tasty recipes and good friends. One does not need anything other than that.
Robert Lord ’18, Social Media Guru
Spirit Vegetable: Zucchini
Why I love Firebellies: Firebellies is food, and food is life, and I love life
Kira Patterson ’18, Board Member
Vegetable alter-ego: cauliflower
Why I love Firebellies: I love the Firebellies because the club provides the perfect setting to relax, meet and spend time with incredible people, explore my love of cooking, and push myself to cook more creatively
Trey Stokes ’18, Board Member
Vegetable alter-ego: Tomato
Why I love Firebellies: The community and the diversity. I love to know more about people and places and you can find both of these in food.
Wisdom Akpan ’18, Board Member
Vegetable alter-ego: beets
Why I love Firebellies: Eating is one of those things that all humans have to do one way or another. Firebellies is dope because we take the prospect of uniting people through food seriously.
Grace Johnson ’18, Board Member
Vegetable alter-ego: butternut squash
Why I love Firebellies: I love learning about food and trying new recipes! I also think sharing meals together is a great way to build relationships.
Vayu Maini Rekdal ’15
Major: Biology and Chemistry, biochemistry concentration.
Vegetable alter-ego: Dino Kale
Why I love Firebellies: The people, the food, and the conversations.
Emily Pence ’15
Major: American Studies
Vegetable alter-ego: Eggplant
Why I love Firebellies: Making connections with new people, foods and cultures
Hannad Reed ’15
Major: American Studies
Vegetable alter-ego: Pumpkin
Why I love firebellies: Every event is full of good food, friends, and laughter. It is my firm belief that anyone can cook (I took that from Ratatouille) and Firebellies gives people of all skill sets the opportunity to try it out!
Worthy Cho ’15
Major: Economics and Math
Vegetable alter ego: Edamame
Why I love Firebellies: I love to cook because its fun, rewarding, and relaxing. Being apart of firebellies allows me to do what i love with a ton of amazing people!
Jackson Van Fleet ’15
Vegetable alter ego: If Jackson were a vegetable, he would be a tomato, so as to challenge commonly-held perceptions of what it means to be a “fruit” versus a “vegetable.”
Why I love Firebellies: Jackson has been an artist his whole life and strives to practice as many forms of creative expression as possible. So far he has had formal training in music, creative writing, and visual art and is now looking for opportunities to improve his singing and dancing. Jackson took a serious interest in cooking recently when he opted out of the meal plan. He admires resourceful cooking and the ability to prepare simple foods deliciously.
Charlotte Mann ’17, President
Vegetable alter ego: Beet
Why I love Firebellies: Firebellies brings great people together through food, and there’s nothing better than that.
Vegetable alter-ego: If I were a vegetable, it would have to be garlic. There is no more crucial or delicious cooking element to ever grace the human palette. Plus, you have never have too much garlic.
Why I love Firebellies: As a modern consumer, many decisions about the things I eat are made for me. I want to live a more deliberate food life by taking back as much of the cooking process as I can as well as making other people aware of the benefits of a deliberate food life. Firebellies is a great place to do this and build great community in the process
Peter Barron ’17, Treasurer
Vegetable Alter Ego: Turnip
Why I love Firebellies: Life can be really serious and stressful sometimes, so it’s really nice to be able to chill with a bunch of cool people and do something I’m passionate about. Also, food is a really good way to make friends.
Erin Roth ’16, Secretary
Vegetable alter-ego: onion
Why I love Firebellies: I love food, but even more importantly, I love cooking with people. There’s just something really special about cooking and sharing a meal together- its a great way to meet awesome people.
Kyle Schiller ’17, Creative Director
Major: Asian Studies/Cognitive Science
Vegetable alter-ego: Cake
Why I love Firebellies: Food is life, food is love.
Phineas Callahan ’18, Archivist
Vegetable alter-ego: Kale
Why I love Firebellies: We broaden people’s horizons.
Julie Zhou ’18, Board Member
Vegetable alter ego: Brussels Sprouts
Why I love Firebellies: I’ve made some of my best friendships in the kitchen; I love the way that cooking and sharing food can bond a community, and no one does it better than Firebellies.
Kharmen Bharucha ’17, Board Member
Vegetable alter-ego: potato
Why I love Firebellies: because I love to cook and eat with friends!