UB Grad's Online "Bistro" Shares Cheap Culinary Secrets

By Mara McGinnis

Release Date: February 22, 1999 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Eminently Palatable Pancakes, anyone?

College students looking to find quick, simple and cheap ways to spice up their limited menus can visit an online "bistro" created by a recent University at Buffalo graduate who shares his college culinary expertise on his personal Web site.

Constructed by Alan Hunt, who received a master's degree in computer science from UB, "Bill and Al's Bachelor Bistro" -- located at http://www.cs.buffalo.edu/~ahunt/recipe.htm -- is a collection of tips for college students and others on food, drinks, parties and entertaining.

The Bistro -- named for Hunt and his former roommate, Buffalo State College graduate Bill Mellon -- claims to be "the place to go for stylish bachelor living" and "the hip, new hang-out for young folks who want to brush up on their recipes, get the latest tips on social excellence, save the world, or just kill a few moments basking in the enlightening views of its proprietors."

Hunt says he created the "never-fail delicious recipes" section of his Web site as an undergraduate because, at that time, he and his roommate were having so much fun cooking that he wanted to make the recipes available to friends.

"That, and I found the section an easy target for some collegiate humor and I can never resist an easy gag," he adds.

Recipes are divided into several categories: Little Snacky Things, Breakfast Recipes, Lunches, Dinner, and Drinks, and include concoctions such as the Breakfast Sandwich of Champions, Omelet of Death, Fried Potatoes with Stuff and the featured "The Tomato and Chicken Stuff I Always Make for Women That I'm Trying to Impress." Hunt says he has made this dish countless times over the years with "almost universal success in respect to the title.

"Some things I picked up just because I was lazy some night and I had to cook with what was in the fridge," Hunt admits.

He says he never intended to have much of an audience, but that he has received several email responses from students asking for recipes for a certain occasion and people looking for party-theme ideas.

"Bill and Al's Patented Party Tips" includes information on theme, dinner and movie parties. Hunt warns that if having parties seems to be a relatively simple affair to you, "it is a sure sign you are doing it wrong."

Suggestions for theme parties range from a Mexican fiesta and Middle Eastern get-together, to a French soiree and a redneck hoedown. Hunt even goes the extra mile and includes hyperlinks to sites about wine and music for prospective hosts. The site on party tips -- partially under construction -- is located at http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~ahunt/partytip.htm.

Hunt, who now works as a computer scientist at Calspan, encourages everyone to learn to cook. "Life is better if you eat well...Not to mention that culinary ability is second only to giving good backrubs in the attractive skills category for the modern male."

But those who are health conscious be forewarned. The disclaimer for the recipes reads: "WARNING: The things that you read here are not for the calorically timid or for the cholesterol empowered. If you get squeamish around grease or use 'light' cream cheese, you might as well just 'http' to some health-food page because you will probably have a coronary."