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It Just Looks Sooo Yummy! Freshman Makes It Big Food-Blogging 1920 Commons


Photo courtesy of The Daily Pennsylvanian

Even before he came to Penn, Leon Jefferson (N ‘24) was a huge self-described foodie. But when he arrived in Philadelphia for the first time, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to maintain his passion for enjoying and photographing the culinary arts. After all, most college dining halls don’t exactly have the best reputation. But much to Jefferson’s surprise, he found that Penn more than delivered on its promise for high-quality food on campus. He found that 1920 Commons, the flagship enterprise of Penn Dining and Bon Appétit, exceeded all expectations and is, in fact, the culmination of human culinary achievement. 

“I won’t lie, I was a bit turned off when I first saw the $17 per meal price tag,” Jefferson confessed. “I mean, I could get a nice entrée in Center City for that amount of money! How could a college dining hall stack up to that? Well, little did I know!” When Jefferson first took a bite from his first dry, unseasoned Commons chicken breast, it was like a match made in heaven. “There were literally fireworks going off in my mouth!” recalled Jefferson. “My tastebuds were totally tingling — though whether that was because it tasted good or because it eradicated all of my tastebuds is beyond me.”

After this life-changing experience Jefferson just knew that he had to document his meal on his food blog, @thefoodiepatootie. Although Jefferson’s blog was small at the time, it started to explode when he started posting his meals at Commons. One of his most popular posts, depicting Commons’ crowd-favorite sushi night, has the caption, “Soo excited to put this in my tummy and see what comes out later! Raw fish and rice never looked so good!” Jefferson got thousands of likes and comments, all asking him where he found such a delicious meal. Jefferson was happy to oblige, and soon, 1920 Commons became flooded with critics and visitors alike. 

These critics have described 1920 Commons as “the Mecca of American culinary excellence,” and is rapidly climbing the ranks of fine dining on the East Coast. The establishment is rapidly gaining prominence nationally and internationally, and is expecting to be awarded the third, coveted Michelin Star later this week. In the meantime, the ever-thoughtful Penn Administration noted that students were being crowded out of the dining halls by critics and other foodie pilgrims. 

To rectify the issue, the administration expanded the dining plan requirement to the sophomore class. “We just know that students want to spend a little bit more time enjoying the wonderful meal options available at 1920 Commons and its sister establishments,” President Amy Gutmann explained. “With all of these visitors, we just felt that Penn students weren’t giving us enough mon — er, getting the dining experience they deserve!”

Jefferson, for his part, was ecstatic at the news. “Wow, it’s just little gestures like this that remind me that Penn really cares about me!”