Swishing and dishing

Xavier Ford talks about his passion for food and cooking

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Senior forward Xavier Ford – the reigning Mid-American Conference and Big 4 Player of the Week – originally didn’t want to cook.

He needed to.

Growing up in a house of predominantly men, his grandmother wouldn’t let the boys in the house leave the cooking process to her. At age 12, Ford began cooking consistently for the first time for him and his family.

“Everybody in my family knows how to cook. My grandma made all of the boys learn how to cook at a young age,” Ford said. “I learned how to cook in the sixth grade. My grandma told us eventually, we would have to learn how to make our own food.”

He developed a passion for cooking that still holds true today.

Ford, who is currently enjoying a career season, even has a chef hat at home.

Ford scored a career-high 25 points and nine rebounds in Buffalo’s 80-55 win over Kent State Friday, after registering 17 points and four steals in a 77-71 win over Western Michigan Tuesday.

Ford’s grandmother specialized in cooking soul foods such as ribs, brisket and sweet potatoes.

One of his favorite television shows is Iron Chef, a reality cooking show in which competitors are given one hour to complete five dishes based on that round’s secret ingredient.

When he was a senior in high school, Ford enrolled in a culinary arts program at Pikes Peak Community College in order to enhance his cooking skills.

The Pike Peak Culinary Arts Club opened in December of 2007. Its purpose is to provide students a fun and creative outlet for greater learning beyond the classroom.

“I would go to the culinary arts program to learn proper etiquette of hygiene and nutrition,” Ford said. “I went for six hours a day and loved every second of it.”

Ford was able to learn from Chef Heidi Block, an acclaimed chef who was the head instructor of the program when Ford was enrolled. Ford appreciates the experience and credits his skills in the kitchen partially to her.

Ford consistently cooks dinner for himself and his friends. Some of his favorite foods to cook are relatively similar to the dishes that he grew up with – soul food.

“I love to eat and cook ribs, chicken and fettuccine alfredo and a lot of soul food,” Ford said. “I just love to eat.”

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