The big shots should not come calling quite yet. Scagnelli’s not interested in yielding control.
“Everyone’s excited,” she says with a shiny smile, referring to the 19 or 20 students at universities across the country who contributed to the inaugural issue. “I very strongly feel students should remain a part of the production of C&C.”
The editorial “we” in College & Cook is as evident as its founder’s fondness for ampersands. From the Web site, by way of introduction: “We’re a bunch of college kids who love food, live for it, live to enjoy it. . . . we’re sick of being stereotyped by easy mac & cold pizza. We’re worried about record child obesity & the underfunded FDA.”
Scagnelli says she didn’t know where to start, yet tracing her path reveals few missteps. The political communication major sought advice from professors and others who had experience with online publications. She reached out to friends and interested parties through Facebook: at Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta. She tapped into the University of Pennsylvania’s campus food magazine, Penn Appetit. Fifteen schools were represented in the quarterly’s winter issue.
“I thought it was a great idea,” says Crystal Williams, the College & Cook contributor who’s at Le Cordon Bleu.
The two met as congressional pages in Washington in 2009. “She knew I am now involved in Share Our Strength,” Williams said. “She asked me to write a piece about it for the magazine, and a regular challenge recipe to teach our readers.”
When Scagnelli served on the yearbook committee at her high school in Gainesville, Fla., she learned how to use a page layout program similar to InDesign, which is what she also works on at Delight Gluten Free Magazine, where she works on Fridays. A college photography class provided enough pointers for her to shoot some decent pictures that accompany recipes in College & Cook. A Politics of the Kitchen course “was a game changer” for her, she says. With lots of ideas for articles, a 15-inch laptop and no operating budget, Scagnelli and a small corps put together an 86-page book.
Its tone is engaging, and its subject matter includes the intricacies of kissing with food allergies, a sustainable-food project at Yale and how to make 5-Minute Cakes using a shot glass to measure the ingredients. Every issue will offer a playlist of music to cook by. Most features are deliberately brief, to keep readers scrolling forward.