Skydiving Chef Mikel Lawrence will participate in this year’s Food Day @ UH event at Cougar Woods Dining Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 22.
He will lead a cooking demonstration in which he will show students how to cook mushroom street tacos using local ingredients. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Lawrence is a retired professional skydiver who has jumped in full chef gear on multiple occasions. This experience merged his love of being a chef and the thrill of experiencing a jump.
He is known for being a talented chef with vast experience. He previously was employed at St. Vincent College/Monastery, where he had the pleasure to cook for more than 500 students, Benedictine Monks and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He also has had the honor of cooking for former Vice President Dick Cheney, an archbishop and foreign dignitaries.
He now works for United Natural Foods Inc., which is the largest distributor of natural and organic food products in the United States.
For those hesitant to try out the vegan dish he will be demonstrating, Lawrence assures it will not leave them disappointed.
“People are surprised when it comes to vegan and vegetarian foods if they would give it a chance,” he said. “Many times because of the lack of fat to satiate the appetite it is necessary to bump up the flavor profile. The vegan tacos that I'm cooking for this event are actually made with mushrooms. The mushrooms are cooked down to where there is absolutely no moisture so it is a chewy al dente and concentrated flavor.”
Food Day @ UH is a celebration of October being Vegetarian Awareness Month. Food Day officially falls on Oct. 24, but with Friday being a slower day on campus, UH Dining Services moved up the event so that the entire campus could join in. UH Dining Dietitian Sarah Feye wants students to be aware of the benefits of eating vegetarian options.
“As a dietitian, I know a plant-based diet can reduce our risk of certain diseases, decrease our morbidity and mortality rates, keep us at a healthy body weight and improve our overall diet quality,” Feye said. “In addition, going meat-free has a huge environmental impact as well — it reduces our carbon footprint, minimizes water usage and saves vital resources. The best part is you don’t have to be a complete vegetarian or vegan to reap the benefits. Going meatless, even just one day per week, can make a huge impact.”
Food Day is a nationally recognized event that is meant to inspire dietary change to help decrease the high rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.
To learn more about Food Day, visit www.foodday.org. For more information about UH Dining Services. visit www.uh.edu/dining. Follow them on Instagram at www.instagram.com/uhdining, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uhdining, and follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/uhdining.