INA, Ill. (October 12, 2022) — What could be better than exploring the diversity of foods in the company of friends? Lunch or evening dinners discussing the tastes, textures, and history behind some of southern Illinois' best palate-pleasing hidden gems with the Goude Friends, Gouda Food Club for Rend Lake College students is now an option.

“The Gouda Friends, Gouda Food Rend Lake College Students’ Club can help bring people together who may not typically engage with each other,” said sponsor and RLC Professor, Dr. Jeannie Mitchell. “We would like to go to family-owned businesses and learn about each other while learning about the people that own the business. This will also allow us to learn about the cultures behind the people that own the business.” 

The club will e exploring different family-owned restaurants n southern Illinois, with the goal of finding ones that others in the group haven’t been to yet. 

“The goal is to share experiences while sharing food,” said Mitchell. 

Mitchell’s idea came about from a student survey. The students who participated in the survey overwhelmingly turned to learning about food. Whether it was learning to cook, or just exploring the options outside of chain restaurants, the students wanted diversity in their eating options. 

During the meals, Mitchell hopes to discuss the student experiences and see what went well and what could be better. They will use a survey to collect the data and increase learning through student engagement. Mitchell stated that sharing feedback on the meals could also be a great learning tool for the restaurants they attend. 

Members can expect to be invited to events occasionally, some funded by the college, and some by themselves. "Students do not need a culinary background to participate," said Mitchell. "They just need to have a love for food and a willingness to talk about it amongst friends."

To learn more about the club, join, or let Dr. Jeannie Mitchell know your family restaurant is interested in hosting the club, email [email protected].

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2012 PHI THETA KAPPA FACULTY EXCELLENCE AWARD | 2020 RLCF OUSTANDING FACULTY MEMBER AWARD | Ed.D. Oakland City University | M.S. Southern Illinois University Carbondale | B.S. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville |  A.S. John A. Logan College |  Certified Instructor of Leadership Development Studies

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