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The professor’s room

An occasional series that gets within the inner sanctums of academia – because clever people have interesting rooms.

By Mark Cox

February 22, 2017

Jackson Lamb in his office.

Former cowboy Jackson Lamb swapped his lariat for a set of kitchen knives years ago, and now the culinary professor is a leading figure in the Denver hospitality community. But there’s still a whisper of the frontier spirit about his campus home.

1. Cash register

This 50-year-old register came from Caldonia’s Roadside BBQ and Highway Tavern in Aurora, where I was general manager in the ’80s. New computerized models can cost $25,000 but these old ones are only about $1,000, so many cash-strapped start-ups still use them. I still use this now as a teaching aid in my Restaurant Accounting class; you should see the students’ faces when I wheel it in. It’s good fun, but also educational.

2. Stetson

This hat is me. I have seen many people who look like they’re wearing a borrowed hat. But if a man wears one for long enough he becomes the hat – and the hat becomes the man. I have so many good memories of this one. Now my grandson is nine years old and he’s already wearing a Stetson. We love to “cowboy up” together!

3. Ranch photograph

I’m just an old cowboy at heart. This photo (I’m somewhere in the middle) was taken in the Hole in the Wall region – of Butch Cassidy fame – near Casper, Wyoming. I worked there for years on a 60,000-acre ranch. Why? Because I’m a kid from New York City. Only 1 percent of 1 percent of American males ever get to live on a ranch like that, and I did. It was a tremendous experience.

4. Globes

I’m pretty well travelled. This University has sent me to conferences in China, Hong Kong, Mexico and most major U.S. cities, and I’ve also visited Europe four times. So when I’m talking to students about travel or foods from around the world, it’s great to be able to just grab a globe, spin it round and actually see where we’re talking about. It’s a great visual aid.

5. Scimitar

This fierce-looking blade was once used for champagne sabering. The blades on these things are so sharp, and some people are so skilled, that the scimitars can be used to cut the cork off the top of a bottle with one swift stroke. It was a gift from an old colleague years ago. Unsurprisingly, he was a beverage man.

6. Awards

I was named Chef Educator of the Year 2016 by the Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education. They even flew me down to Dallas to accept the award. It was a great honor.

PS. Calling all faculty members…

Do you have an interesting office – and would you like to feature it in our new series? Just email Mark Cox.

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