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The Ozark Visitor

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News from Hard Work U.®

Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212

September 27, 2017

College of the Ozarks hosts Andrew Zimmern at The Keeter Center

Executive Sous Chef Kyle Houston, celebrity television personality and food expert Andrew Zimmern, and Executive Chef Robert Stricklin during the Travel Channel visit to The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks.Sous Chef Kyle Houston, celebrity television personality and food expert Andrew Zimmern, and Executive Chef Robert Stricklin

Eric Powell, business administration major, and junior Courtney Hendrix, psychology and business administration major, stop for a photo with television food personality Andrew ZimmernSophomore Eric Powell, business administration major, and junior Courtney Hendrix, psychology and business administration major, stop for a photo with television food personality Andrew Zimmern last Wednesday, Sept. 20, during his visit to campus.

Junior Courtney Hendrix, psychology and business administration major, serves Andrew Zimmern as he dines in The Keeter Center at College of the OzarksJunior Courtney Hendrix, psychology and business administration major, serves Andrew Zimmern as he dines in The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks. His production crew captured the moment for Zimmern’s new television program, “The Zimmern List,” set to air in 2018.

Chef Robert Stricklin welcomes Andrew Zimmern to the restaurantThe Keeter Center Executive Chef Robert Stricklin welcomes Andrew Zimmern to the restaurant. Zimmern immediately wanted to see the kitchen and enjoyed his tour, meeting students who work to pay for their education.

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks hosted Andrew Zimmern — TV personality, chef, writer, and teacher — at The Keeter Center’s Dobyns Dining Room restaurant last week for a new show he is producing, “The Zimmern List.”

Zimmern is the creator, executive producer, and host of the “Bizarre Foods” franchise on Travel Channel. His love for food and passion for helping others made him a fast friend of the College. He talked with Executive Chef Robert Stricklin about the mission of C of O and the amazing stories of struggle and success represented by the College of the Ozarks students who work in the Dobyns Dining Room kitchen.

“Andrew wanted to see the kitchen right away,” Stricklin said. “I explained to him that the students on the hot line when he came through were representing many different majors – some English, some history, some business, some education. We have students in our culinary arts program, but it takes more than 80 students to work in the kitchen each year and more than 300 students to make The Keeter Center operate. The expression on his face as he ‘got it’ was priceless.”

Zimmern ordered Pork Pomodoro and the special for the night, Sautéed Chicken and Gnocchi. The Pork Pomodoro features medallions of campus-raised pork, basted with pesto, garden fresh tomatoes, and roasted garlic. It is served on campus cornmeal polenta. The Gnocchi, which was made fresh that evening, was prepared with artichoke, red pepper, and sundried tomato cream sauce.

“I’m not sure what he was expecting, but I could sense he was pleased,” Stricklin said. “We strive to ensure the guests of Dobyns Dining Room have a truly exceptional culinary experience. We represent regional cuisine, but we also incorporate fresh vegetables grown on campus and feature beef and pork grown on our own farms. We use the milk from the College dairy. Every detail, from the raising of the produce to the presentation on the plate, is a labor of love made by our students who are learning and working to offset the cost of their education. Young people who would never have a chance in life, and would certainly have no opportunity to earn a college education, can come here, work hard, earn an education, and literally turn their lives around. I think Andrew appreciated that.”

Kathyrn Williams — director of operations, food and beverage — helped oversee the evening’s activities.

“Our students are trained to perform their tasks in the proper manner from the very beginning,” she said. “So, when we have special guests or we are exceptionally busy, they continue to do things well. All was smooth while Andrew was here, and our students were beaming. They were pleased to serve Andrew and represent the College.”

“I felt incredibly honored to represent the College of the Ozarks and welcome Mr. Zimmern to our campus,” said sophomore Eric Powell, business administration major. “It was a special opportunity to serve Mr. Zimmern and truly an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. Meeting him encouraged me to continue pursuing what I love. His success reminded me of the incredible results that follow from perseverance and hard work.”

Prior to last night’s filming, representatives of Zimmern’s production crew visited the College on Monday afternoon, Sept. 18. They experienced the gardens, where eight students from that work station were harvesting vegetables and loading 100-pound prize pumpkins onto a flatbed truck.

The crew then visited Edwards Mill, where students were grinding grain, weaving baskets by hand, and weaving textiles on the loom. They also made a stop at the Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen, where students were making fresh pasta, apple butter, and ice cream for The Keeter Center restaurant.

The final stop was The Keeter Center, and the crew spent more than two hours filming background scenes for the new television program, set to air in spring of 2018. Watch the College of the Ozarks website for updates regarding the exact date and time the program will air.

“I was very encouraged at how intrigued Mr. Zimmern was by our Farm to Fork concept,” said Courtney Hendrix, junior psychology and business management double major. “He was blown away by the fact that so many students here at the College played a part in making sure the Pork Pomodoro that he ordered was displayed on the table in front of him. From the students who raise the hogs, to the processing plant where students cure the meat, to the students in the kitchen and restaurant at The Keeter Center who prepare and serve it, our Farm to Fork cooking really impressed him.”

More about Andrew Zimmern

Zimmern is a four-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality and is regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the creator, executive producer, and host of the Bizarre Foods franchise on Travel Channel, The Zimmern List and Andrew Zimmern’s Driven by Food, he has explored cultures in more than 170 countries, promoting impactful ways to think about, create, and live with food.

In 2014, Andrew introduced Intuitive Content, a full-service production company that develops and produces dynamic original television and broadcast specials, while partnering with companies to create brand-driven series and web content. Intuitive Content’s first series, Andrew Zimmern’s Driven by Food, premiered on Travel Channel in August 2016. In Driven by Food, Andrew takes viewers on a behind-the-scenes adventure, exploring food and culture from a whole new perspective with a local guide. In their second series, The Zimmern List, Andrew reveals his own top picks and favorite food experiences in cities across the globe. The Zimmern List premieres spring 2018.

Andrew is a contributing editor and Chef-in-Residence at Food & Wine Magazine and a senior editor at Delta Sky Magazine. He has been nominated for 12 James Beard Awards, and he has won awards for “Outstanding Food Personality” (2010), “Best TV Program on Location” (2012), and “Outstanding Personality/Host” (2013 and 2017). In 2016, Andrew was named one of “America’s 50 Most Powerful People in Food” by The Daily Meal, one of the “30 Most Influential People in Food” by Adweek, and as one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business.” Andrew has appeared as a guest judge on Chopped and Top Chef, and was chosen as a mentor for Season 2 of Food Network’s All-Star Academy.

When he’s not sampling unusual dishes at home and abroad, Andrew teaches entrepreneurship and offers insights on food issues to the students of The Lewis Institute for Social Innovation at Babson College. Through the James Beard Foundation, he funds Andrew Zimmern’s Second Chances Scholarship, which offers a student faced with extreme challenges a second chance to overcome these hardships and follow a culinary path. Andrew also sits on the board of directors of Services for the UnderServed and Taste of the NFL. In his rare downtime, he relaxes in Minneapolis with his wife Rishia, son Noah, and his pug Pretzel. Behind closed doors you can find him reading, cooking, and playing electric guitar.

For additional information, contact Public Relations Director Valorie Coleman at (417) 690-2212.

About College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian, liberal arts college, located in Point Lookout, Missouri, on a 1,000-acre campus. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The College earns numerous accolades yearly, including No. 1 Best Value Regional College in the Midwest and No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for 2018. To achieve its vision, the College pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school that completes the K-college model.

The Keeter Center—the College’s award-winning lodge, restaurant, and conference facility—was ranked a Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2017. It features historic lodging, fine dining, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on campus. Follow College of the Ozarks at or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.


09.27.17 – Valorie Coleman


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