If you need proof or Patrick Engel’s loyalty to Brock, you need to look no further than his leg.
The local chef at Good Earth Food and Wine Co. has a badger paw tattoo there accompanied by the letters B.U. For Engel, who graduated with a degree in Psychology in 1997, it felt like a natural tribute.
“I enjoyed my experience at Brock, and that’s something that will never go away,” he said. “As opposed to the name of a girlfriend, which could be fleeting, I’ll always be proud of the four years I spent at Brock.”
Engel will bring some of that Badger pride to this weekend’s Fine Food, Fine Wine, Fine Art. As a chef at the event, he will serve up a meal of braised pork belly on a butter bean salad, a dish he likes to call “pork and beans.”
It’s a fitting homecoming for the chef, who discovered his love of cooking while he was a student at Brock.
“I began my first year as a Kraft Dinner student, and by the fourth year, I was into all kinds of stuff,” he said.
He was living off campus in his third year with four fellow students when they came across a cooking show on TV. They wrote down the instructions to make the dish – shrimp and scallops in a saffron cream – and headed to the grocery store for the ingredients. The process of gathering ingredients to make a quality meal from scratch fascinated Engel.
His Psychology education has come in handy as a chef. In addition to those four years making him a more well-rounded person, “any time you’re in a food service environment, there’s psychology involved,” he said.
“Restaurants can be very intense and emotional environments,” he said. “They’re hot. They’re tiring. It can lead to stress and a very volatile atmosphere. That’s where psychology comes in handy.”
The tenth annual Fine Food, Fine Wine, Fine Art will feature Niagara’s finest chefs and award-winning wineries. Tickets are $75. The event will be Saturday, Sept. 17 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Lowenberger Dining Hall.