Behind the grill: A conversation with Noah Gilliam

By Robert Beeland

Executive Editor

The next time you’re waiting in the omelette line, listen out for the excited guffaws of cook Noah Gilliam working away on the grill. Last September, Noah joined the team at McClurg Dining Hall as the premier omelette chef, cooking up a variety of eggy delicacies. Most students know that Gilliam can fix a mean breakfast entree, but not all of them know that he also has a knack for electronics. Gilliam recently completed a degree in Electronic Engineering, which primarily concerns an understanding of circuitry. He cited a company he nearly began working for that developed biomedical healthcare equipment as an example. Gilliam also has plans to further his education and pursue a degree here at Sewanee in Computer Science. “Since I work here, I actually get free tuition, so I’ll get to advance upon my degree,” Gilliam explained. “I have to be employed for a year before I get the free tuition, so if everything works out, I’ll start in the fall of next year.”

Gilliam said that he loves his job in McClurg because of all the people he gets to work with. “I love the students! I get the freedom to create what I want, I get to do specials, I get to try out my own recipes, and you guys are my critics. I get your feedback, and it’s all gourmet!” Gilliam has been interested in the culinary arts since his youth. “My two dream careers were always either to be involved with electronics or to be a chef…and I’m in a good spot now, I get to do both.”

This enthusiasm can be seen every day in Gilliam’s jovial attitude and can be tasted in every omelette he cooks. “My favorite special I do, I do this one called the South-of-the-Border omelette—it’s basically a Mexican omelette with chicken, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, a fresh pico de gallo I make, and sour cream.” In his own omelette, Gilliam likes what he says “is almost a Denver omelette, except with prime rib, bell peppers, and onions, and tomatoes, and cheddar cheese, and maybe a little bit of au jus. It sounds crazy, but it’s really good. Maybe some bacon, too.”