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Dining hall presents ‘Flavors of Germany’

Each year, Sodexo features the cuisine of a different country – this year, the marker landed on Germany.

Featuring the food of global Chef Murat Er, the dining hall will be serving German cuisine on Friday during lunch.

Er travels around the country to different universities, letting students taste and experience the German culture through cuisine.

“Food is the universal language. For me, it’s really important to give them a little bit more emotion. I think it’s important for them to try different dishes from different countries,” Er said.

Since completing his apprenticeship in 2001, Er has been cooking for various hotels and restaurants across Germany, including being a sous chef at a four-star hotel.

“When I was little, I was really impressed by the chefs, and I watched them on TV. I said I always want to be like them,” Er said. “That’s the reason I decided to be a chef. You have contact with ingredients and people,”

In 2013, Er started working for Sodexo and has since been able to cook for thousands of people, including being able to cook for university students in the United States.

“To gain some new experience, to meet amazing people, to see the culture here in America — it’s a nice new experience,” Er said. “It was like a present to me when they told me I’m the chef of Germany this year.”

Some dishes were out for tasting in the Johnson Academic Center on Thursday, including German macaroni and cheese, pea soup and pork belly — all of which will be available during the Flavors of Germany event in the cafeteria. In addition, there will be homemade dumplings and kirschenmännle — a German cherry bread pudding.

“My pork belly, my bread pudding — everything. They can eat everything, they are welcome to,” Er said. “We try to make everything good because we make it with emotion. This is the most important part, to do it with all you have. I used to say, a recipe is just a written piece of paper from someone. What’s most important is who cooked it, if the person who cooked it had passion or not.”

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