This Is The Kind Of Food Writing That Will Get You Into Stanford


One day, they will retire — Ruth Reichl and Anthony Bourdain and Alan Richman and Michael Ruhlman and all the writers we’ve covered. But who shall take their place? If the media has taught us anything, only rich and well-connected kids will become writers, and where else can one find rich and well-connected kids, but at Stanford University?

After the prestigious university accepted a scant 6% of applicants into the class of 2017, Gawker somehow managed to get their hands on a cache of essays written by recently admitted Stanford students. The site published two unattributed ones, which contain some stunning, James Beard Award-worthy prose about ice cream and lasagna. (As one commenter wondered: “Did Garfield write these essays?)

Frank Bruni, eat your heart out with these mealtime metaphors (unedited and excerpted from the original lasagna essay):

Lasagna is significant to me for the same reasons as the UnitedNations. Both are highly varied, near-eclectic mixtures of ideas and cultures. Despite initial doubts over their success, both are highly successful today. They’re both important to me because they show how different things from different places and ideas can work together cohesively. From the dish to the open-face, Lasagna is always changing with the world around it, as cultures and ideas mix together.This is why lasagna matters to me. It shows how change can help inconstancy, and how it can be accommodated to create a more cohesive unit…

Lasagna is an organized combination of different ideas and flavors. It matters so much to me because its many, diverse layers can be used asa metaphor for who I am. Like lasagna, my origins are difficult to ascertain. In the same way that diversity is an integral part oflasagna, it’s an integral part of who I am. All kinds of diversity matter to me – being in a ‘lasagna-like’ environment, full of different, contrasting ideas matters to me because diversity is what makes me thrive.

For those of you who might cluck tongues at us, wondering why we’re kicking around a few high school seniors when we probably wrote similar dreck at that age, there’s only one, honest answer. No, we’re not bitter about being rejected from Stanford at all. It’s a different answer.

Just…just read the full essays while we weep into our undergrad degrees from barely acceptable substitute colleges.


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