cover image Tray Gourmet: Be Your Own Chef in the College Cafeteria

Tray Gourmet: Be Your Own Chef in the College Cafeteria

Larry Berger. Lake Isle Press, $10.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-9627403-2-9

Dotted with cleverly named recipes, whimsical illustrations, even admonishments for parents--``the authors in no way mean to imply that ownership of Tray Gourmet by your child should cause you to interrupt or discontinue your regular care package schedule''--this thoroughly entertaining book is surprisingly accurate, entirely practical and professionally wrought. This work of Yale graduates--writers Berger ( Up Your Score: The Underground Guide to Psyching Out the SAT ) and Harris and cartoonist Kalb--will sit on the top of college freshmen packing lists, since it literally teaches students how to beat the system and eat ``gourmet'' (i.e., fun and healthy) meals out of their student cafeteria. The basic precept involves utilizing a combination of cafeteria-line fare, salad-bar ingredients, condiments and the ubiquitous microwave oven. Recipes range from the classic ``I Think Therefore I Ham Salad'' (made with condiments and salad-bar items) and ``Fond O' You Cheese Fondue'' (``great for entertaining large groups of friends in the cafeteria''), to a chapter entitled ``Solving the Mystery Meat,'' featuring ``Bitchin' Surf Burger'' and other lower-brow treats. The authors know college students' limitations, and leave little to chance. Ingredients are measured by teaspoons, soup spoons, heaping teaspoons or soup spoons, handfuls, cups, glasses, bowls or pats. (Feb.)