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The new hot spot for working chefs? Dude, the frat house

The Wall Street Journal reported today on a new niche for chefs: working the fraternity house. Forget the typical frat-boy fare of burgers and fries; Thursday night's menu for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon boys at Southern Methodist University in Dallas included free-range rib-eye steak with rosemary-infused red potatoes, fresh spinach and strawberry salad with candied walnuts and a raspberry vinaigre
\"National Lampoon's Animal House\", John Belushi, 1978. © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection
\"National Lampoon's Animal House\", John Belushi, 1978. © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett CollectionEverett Collection

The Wall Street Journal reported today on a new niche for chefs: working the fraternity house. Forget the typical frat-boy fare of burgers and fries; Thursday night's menu for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon boys at Southern Methodist University in Dallas included free-range rib-eye steak with rosemary-infused red potatoes, fresh spinach and strawberry salad with candied walnuts and a raspberry vinaigrette and homemade apple pie à la mode.

\"National Lampoon's Animal House\", John Belushi, 1978. © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett CollectionEverett Collection

These Greek gigs offer better hours, easier-to-please clientele, consistent pay and summers off for chefs who would otherwise be in the throes of the high-stress competitive culinary kitchen. However, the job comes with the expected challenges of living with a house full of, well, frat boys: the canine house mascot getting into that night's dinner; your cinnamon being consumed on a dare; late-night fridge raids and the occasional unclaimed vomit at the entrance to your workspace. As the frat chefs have learned, many of these problems can be solved by a padlock on the kitchen door.  

Ready to trade in your apron for a toga? Fraternity chef Darlene Barnes provides some tips for the new animal house chef on her blog.