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Learn about healthy eating, a positive lifestyle

Sept. 25, 2011 at 4:25 a.m.


Americans in 2011 are barraged with information from many sources on what constitutes a "healthy" diet.

There is a proliferation of data, not to mention often contradictory opinions, on the beneficial effects to longevity and vitality of adopting certain lifestyle changes, and on the evils of "fast food." To say the least, it is difficult to chart a course of action that enhances one's well-being.

An individual who may have some answers on the subject will be at Victoria College on Thursday as the first program of the 2011-12 Lyceum Lecture Series. Kevin "the Food Dude" Roberts is an engaging spokesperson for healthy eating, and an expert at doing so quickly and cost-effectively.

Roberts' presentation is scheduled at noon in the VC Student Center.

Not coincidentally, Roberts has made college students a focus of the work he does as a television and radio celebrity chef and author of two best-selling cookbooks. He has appeared on NBC's "Today Show," the CBS "Morning Show" and was a top ten finalist on the Food Network's acclaimed program, "The Next Food Network Star." He also has regular engagements on local television broadcasts in Southern California. His current recurring role is host of TLC's BBQ PitMasters. In his spare time, he is the owner and executive chef of East Village Tavern & Bowl, an award-winning sports bar and one of San Diego's trendiest hot spots.

The experience of going to college is a transformative event in many young lives. For most, it offers a first taste of freedom, yet also of absence from parental guidance on such essentials as getting proper nutrition and budgeting money. This is where Roberts can help with advice to make easier - in some small measure - the transition from childhood to independent adult. In his cookbook, "Munchies," he offers a variety of quick and simple dishes, as well as preparation tips, that are designed to appeal to the palates of the average young person. His second cookbook, "Kissing in the Kitchen," is directed at anyone desiring to prepare the perfect romantic meal for a significant other. His mantra in both books is "quick, simple, nutritional and tasty." He believes that food and the preparation of it should be a creative venture and, above all else, fun. Most of Roberts' recipes are appropriate whether one lives in a dorm and has only a mini refrigerator and a hot plate to work with, or in an apartment with a typically stocked kitchen. His recipes are written in three or four easy-to-follow steps.

Roberts' presentation incorporates humor and anecdotes from his own experiences as a student and fledgling chef, and includes cooking demonstrations, information on nutrition, food facts and fallacies, and a celebration of the pleasures of eating. The audience will be invited to sample the quick and simple dishes he prepares during the hour-long presentation. One dish he often features is a "bagel pizza," which combines the proper proportions of fats, carbohydrates, and protein and covers the USDA four basic food groups. This tasty meal, appropriate for breakfast, lunch or dinner, includes cream cheese, deli turkey or ham, olive oil, roma tomatoes, shredded cheese and onions. The preparation takes under five minutes and requires only a toaster oven to complete the dish. He is famous, too, for his three-ingredient, three-step recipe for preparing spicy "Tavern Style West Coast Wings," which is flavored with Frank's Red-Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce. Roberts, an aficionado of this spicy condiment, calls it a "way of life," more so than an edible product. A regular part of his program is a hot sauce "chugging contest."

Please plan on attending this year's Lyceum Lecture Series, which will feature five speakers throughout the year, appearing in a variety of venues. Please note that Kevin Roberts' presentation at noon Thursday in the VC Student Center, is a change of venue from previous Lyceum events.

Dave Ticen is the chair and a longtime member of VC's Lyceum Committee. Ticen works as a librarian in charge of user education at the VC/UHV Library.

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