If you are looking for a generic burger and fries, go to McDonald’s. If it’s any other common meal you are in search of, check out any of the other mainstream restaurants in Springfield. However, if you want food, specifically pizza, done right, then Omar Negron is your man.
Despite only being in his second full year at SC, Negron has made quite an impression. Yet it’s not just his culinary skills, which he picked up at Holyoke Community College, but his cooking outlook that helps separate his cuisine from the rest.
Rather than going the conventional route and making bland food, Negron decided to take his food-making process back to basics, but still delectable.
Or as he likes to call it: “Simple, but elegant.”
This mindset does not just apply to his culinary skills. In fact, Negron uses this outlook while conducting a hobby of his on campus.
When he is not working at Union Station inside the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union, Negron can be found on WSCB 89.9 “The Birthplace.” On Thursdays and Fridays, between the hours and noon and 2 p.m., Negron hits the airwaves. Negron loves talking and listening to music just as much as he loves cooking.
“I love music,” Negron added, grinning. “There’s not much more I love than music.”
However, if you tune in to his show, don’t expect to hear anything on the Top 100 Billboard chart. Ironically, it is stereotypical music like that that got Negron on to the air at SC.
One Sunday night while Negron was making pizza, he decided to give the school radio station a shot. To his displeasure, he claims he heard the same song over and over again.
While expressing his distaste for the music, Negron said, “My friend, Noah [Pascal], who also works at the radio station, overheard me. We got to talking, and I told him I used to do radio at HCC for two years. He said ‘Okay that’s good, I would like to have you on the show.’”
From there, it took off.
Now with his own chance on the air, Negron plays his own style of music instead of the Top Billboard hits. Instead, for those two hours, listeners can expect to hear music from all across the board, from hip-hop and R&B, to Spanish-style music and everything in between.
Nonetheless, Negron plays music throughout his show and takes some time out to talk to his listeners. In true Negron style, he has no set agenda on his untitled show. Each and every day he goes on the air, his topics of discussion vary more than New England weather.
His main goal when he goes on the air is to just have fun, and it shows.
“When you listen to him, you can just tell how much he likes doing it,” said SC senior Sarah Przystarz. “He’s so into his radio show and I just think it’s awesome, and he does an awesome job.”
Despite the work he puts into his show, Negron admits that radio is just a hobby to him and culinary is what his true passion is.
“Cooking’s my thing,” Negron says. “It’s what I love, I went to school for it, I studied for it [and] I love it.”
With all that love and passion for food aside, Negron knows he still has more to learn. With Spanish and Italian cuisine being his specialties, there is one more style of food he would like to have under his belt.
“Chinese food is the number one thing I want to learn,” he said.
What better way to learn the cuisine than by traveling there, as venturing to China is a task Negron aspires to complete one day. The yearning to travel came after he watched his Food Network hero, Anthony Bourdain, travel there in one of his episodes of No Reservations.
More than anything, more than his love for music or the desire to learn Chinese cuisine, Negron aspires for one thing above the rest.
“If I was blessed with enough money, one day, I would love to have my own mom-and-pop place” said Negron.
Regardless of what road lies ahead for Negron or what profession he chooses to pursue, one thing is for certain. He will approach it his own way: simply and elegantly.
Dave Seronick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and read more of the senior’s work at www.rotoinfo.com