Nikki Freihofer and Katie Calder (2016)

Let's say you’re searching for an easy cookie recipe to apologize to your roommate for accidentally dropping their phone down a flight of stairs. Or maybe you need to find restaurant reviews to help you make the perfect reservations for parent’s weekend. OR, is it drool-worthy food porn that your heart desires? Say hello to Spoon University, an online magazine built for newbie chefs, foodies, and everyone in between. Oh, and your ultimate guide to everything delicious or just generally edible. Juniors Nikki Freihofer and Katie Calder established one of Spoon University's first chapters here at Wash U just about a year ago and are determined to keep on truckin' until "Spoon" is the name on everyone's lips.

Nikki- how did you hear about Spoon University and what inclined you to start a chapter at Wash U?

The CEO, Mackenzie Barth, started the magazine at Northwestern and reached out to a friend of hers in my sorority to try to find someone to help her expand the business. I was a freshman at the time, and had just finished a couple years writing and photographing for my own blog as well as writing for the student-produced section of the Chicago Tribune. I sent in my application, got the job, and spent a couple of months establishing the club and finishing the website before our Wash U launch in October 2013.

When did you first come to realize your love of food?

Katie: Easybake Ovens will always be near and dear to my heart.

Nikki: Many people in my family have been bakers, and I realized my passion for baking when I was really young. My first and favorite dish was “pasta” (noodles soaked in tap water because I wasn’t allowed to use the stove) with ketchup on top. Thankfully, I’ve learned a thing or two since then. No shame.

What do you think makes Wash U Spoon a unique chapter?

Katie: We were one of the first Spoon chapters nationwide. Because of this, we had to be pretty gritty and figure out all the components of running a Spoon chapter by ourselves. Nikki and I both can attest to how much we’ve learned over the past year, or at least show you pictures of everything we’ve eaten!

Nikki: Wash U’s chapter is one of the oldest, AKA it was a thrill and also kind of a pain to start up. We worked so hard to get the staff, website, and logistical craziness sorted out so that now we’re pros, and we have passion.

Favorite article or recipe you’ve written for Spoon?

Katie: “Personality as told by a Girl Scout Cookie.”

Nikki: I really like my article “5 Foods with Freaky Origins” because it reveals some seriously strange things about food that you probably never needed or wanted to know. Like that the poison used in Breaking Bad really exists and comes from the average castor bean.

What is your favorite restaurant in St. Louis?

Katie: THE TAVERN! I’ve been to 120 restaurants in STL and this is by far my favorite. The bread may be the best I’ve ever tasted and it’s a sin not to end a meal with their half-baked chocolate chip cookie skillet complete with cookie dough ice cream, peanut butter mousse, and hot fudge.

Nikki: EASILY Sameem Afghan in The Grove. The greatest muntoo I’ve ever had, plus the vibes are modest and authentic.

Favorite food to eat?

Katie: Brussels sprouts.

Nikki: 100% sweet tooth, 100% of the time. Can never go wrong with a fresh pastry.

Favorite food to cook?

Katie: Brussels sprouts…

Nikki: Pie! It’s fun, easy, and so very comforting.

Best food to eat on campus?

Katie: Ibby’s truffle fries

Nikki: The salmon burger in The Village is vastly underrated. The make-your-own granola at Café Bergson is also a staple of mine.

Best place to get your food porn fix?

Katie: Our Wash U Spoon Instagram, @spoonuniversity_washu of course, or @tasty_kc (wink).

Nikki: I follow a million food bloggers on Instagram, but honestly some of the greatest photography I find is on Pinterest. Joy the Baker is my all-time favorite.

Want to get involved? Visit to learn more or to apply! 

Sydney Davis is a senior at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in Film & Media Studies and minoring in Writing. She loves running, exploring new cities, fashion, boating, and most importantly, Whole Foods. 

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