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of the August 2007 issue:|
- 13th Annual Chef
Tastes of the World
The epicenter of the collegiate culinary world was the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst, from June 11—15, as the 13th Annual Tastes of the World Chef Culinary Conference took place. More than 215 attendees, including a record-breaking 186 college and university chefs, took part in this year's installment, themed “Flavor, Wellness and Sustainability.”
“This is our largest turnout since the conference's inception 13 years ago,” said Ken Toong, conference chair and director of Dining Services at UMass. “It is growing every year. We are delighted to see so many chefs and managers who share the same passion to provide our customers with a world of flavor and healthy options, and served in the most sustainabile manner.”
The conference concluded with 15 teams of four chefs competing in the ACF-sanctioned culinary competition. Teams competed in either the hot-food or baking category. Each team was given a mystery basket of products with which they were given three hours to prepare 10 servings.
Team 4 — Delaware North
Team 6 — Villanova University
Team 12 — Middlebury College
Baking — UMass
Marc Foley - Bon Appetit Management Co.
Doug Mattice - St. Lawrence University
Dan Coniff - Bon Appetit Management Co.
Joe Rosenthal - University of North Texas
Team 7 — University of Connecticut
Team 8 — University of New Hampshire
Team 10 — Harvard University
|SILVER MEDALS: (continued)|
Team 11 — University of Massachusetts Amherst
Paul Nicolini - Penn State University
Rose Payton - University of Kentucky
Scott Kohn - University of Kentucky
Michael Edwards - Virginia
Tim Kubota - University of California -
Darryl Winn - University of California -
Mark Azhocar - University of California -
Chi Cuong Huynh - Brockton, Mass.
Team 5 — College of the Holy Cross
Scott Cooper - Florida Institute of Technology
William Danielson - Florida Institute of Technology
Jon Skoviera - Florida Institute of Technology
Ahmed El-Shazly - San Diego State University
Team 13 — Rochester Institute of Technology
Team 14 — Skidmore College
Skidmore Adds Indian Flavor with Tandoor
When Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., renovated the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall on campus, the school was committed to satisfying the diverse dining needs of its student population.
One of the ways Skidmore went about doing this was by adding a number of global-cuisine options, including a wok station. A major new addition, not yet found on many college campuses, was a tandoor oven from Wood Stone Corp.
Tandoors are cylindrical ovens used in Indian cooking. Traditionally, the ovens were made of hand-molded clay, with hay and goats' hair used for structural reinforcement. The oven at Skidmore replaced the clay and goats' hair with high-temperature ceramic.
University Of North Texas Gets Healthy
Like many other schools, the University of North Texas, in Denton, offered its students healthy options in all six of its cafeterias on campus, right alongside the burgers, fries and other options
But the students were looking for a better way to eat healthy. That is why Mean Greens was created.
“I decided to open Mean Greens because the prior year, some upper-class residents who eat in the dining hall came to talk to me,” said Regenia Phillips, director of Dining Services. “They said, 'We really love the food, but we love it a little too much. It is great and we can't resist it, and as we get older we can't afford to continue to just eat. We would like to have a healthy option in a cafeteria.'”
Albany Opens Fast-Food Location
The University at Albany (UAlbany), State University of New York, recently opened a new Wendy's in its Campus Center, adjacent to the main food court.
“It is separated from the main food court by a glass wall,” said Dr. Julia Filippone, executive director for University Auxiliary Services. “The area is carpeted, so the entire area immediately outside of Wendy's is a little quieter than the food-court area, and students usually use it for studying or quiet conversation.”
She said that over the summer, the school has plans to update the lounge space outside of the facility to make it more multi-functional. “We're installing booths and café tables, new flooring and a small stage area for student performances, so the room can be used for other purposes in the evenings. It should be fun for them.”
University Offers Slice of Italiana
Americans eat approximately 350 slices of pizza per second or about 100 acres of pizza each day, according to the Pizza Lover's Guide to the World's Most Popular Food.
College students are among those who love pizza, and it may come as no surprise that Pizanos, a pizza location on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene, is quite popular.
Pizanos, located in the Bean Residential Complex, is open for dinners only from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Prior to the opening of Pizanos, the complex did not have any foodservice options.
Catering to Everyone's Needs
University of California — San Diego (UCSD) Catering, initially established to meet the needs of the campus community, has exceeded the expectations of many to become one of the most sought-after catering operations in the area.
Things have changed since Julia Engstrom, director of catering, first joined the unit in 1994. “The program has gotten pretty big,” she said. “When I first got here it was doing $740,000 a year and losing money. This year, we are going to end at $3.6 million and definitely contributing to the bottom line. Our surpluses go to keeping housing and dining in a good position and definitely keeping the housing rates lower for the incoming students. That is always what we do.”
She said that a key to the turnaround was a change in the attitude of the unit. “I think in the beginning, because I came from the outside, I didn't know the meaning of the word 'no.' I figured out a way to take care of all of the clients that were coming because I worked for a guy who was really very capitalistic. We just found inventive ways to say 'yes.'
“Previously, the department had been shrinking and the answer 'no' was way more common. We just started saying 'yes,' figuring out ways to enhance the bottom line, and I was able at that time to hire some more staff. We just became the only game in town. The food got really good, the menus got really creative.”
Johnson & Wales Knows Kitchen Equipment
|Students and staff at the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., should know a thing or two about the equipment used in foodservice kitchens.|
“We have 27 kitchens in this building,” said Reggie Dow, the school's director of foodservice procurement. All of those kitchens are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, so much so that manufacturers will send prototypes to the school for the students' input. “We are able to take a look at them and help them out. We support them in what they are doing.”
For example, Robot Coupe, manufacturer of a variety of kitchen equipment, worked with Johnson & Wales on one of its products. “We worked with them on the handhelds,” Dow said. “When they were coming into that and developing it, they kept sending us the prototypes. We started looking at the prototypes for them, designed the handle and the switches and things like that. We do that a lot with a lot of the companies. You name a major company and they are our partners and we work with them well.”
Making the Switch
Deciding to outsource food service can be a difficult decision. On-Campus Hospitality spoke to three schools that have made the switch.
VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY
For the nearly 100 years of its existence, Valdosta State University in Georgia ran its own food service, until 2006, when it contracted those operations to Sodexho.
“The university is in a tremendous growth phase and we needed to expand our dining operations,” said Robert Kellner, the university's director of Auxiliary Services. “We did not believe we had the resources to do that on our own. We knew we wanted to take our dining services to another level and the best way to do that was with Sodexho.”
He said that a contract-management company could provide students with more than they could offer if the school operated its own foodservice program. “A contract-management company offers three things we did not feel we could provide: First, they offered the resources that would allow us to enhance our staff, thus providing a better product for our students and other customers. Second, the capital investment to improve our facilities, creating a better environment for our students and others in which to dine. Third, we were able to bring in additional branded concepts like Quiznos and Einstein's Bagels to provide additional options for everyone.”
Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., a school with approximately 3,300 students, ran its own foodservice operations since its inception in 1915. Four years ago, the university outsourced those operations to Chartwells School Dining Services, a division of Compass Group North America.
According to Sister Mary Reap, president of the university, there were many reasons for the change. “We were growing quickly and our facilities were getting old. We wanted to grow our residential population and we knew that satisfaction with food service would be a high priority. One of our board members had been connected to Compass, and he was concerned about the level of food service and the quality level of it. He recommended that we outsource, and this was one of the firms he recommended that we look at.”
After following a standard RFP process, Chartwells was chosen for a number of reasons. “Price was one; I thought that they were very competitive on their price,” she said. “I thought the attention that they gave, they demonstrated that they really wanted our account. They were very caring about all of us and about our employees and about the transition, and they seemed very knowledgeable about how to do all that. They had done it many times and they seemed to share our values.”
Bethany University in Scotts Valley, Calif., has outsourced its food service to the Epicurean Group for the last three years.
“For many years, we did do it ourselves,” said Max Rossi, president of the university. “Our mission is to provide biblically centered education. Although food provision is important and necessary, we felt that we could delegate that and even save some resources by inviting an outside outfit to come and handle that for us. We have done that with several of the auxiliary services that we have on campus, including our bookstore, our food service, our maintenance and things like that. That has turned out to be a major cost savings for the institution, allowing the school itself to focus on its main mission, which is providing education.”
He said that outsourcing his food service has taken away more of the responsibility from the university. “We don't have to concern ourselves with filling shifts and training cooks and arranging to have a buyer buying provisions and maintaining equipment. We delegate all of that to Epicurean, and that frees our hands to focus on other things that we would prefer to do. That is what we have found primarily, it is releasing us as a university to focus on the things that we want to do. They provide their own benefits for their personnel and they are also able to address any conflict or issues that may arise with the staff. It is all handled by Epicurean.”
Overview — Summer Vacation?
Around the Campus
UCSD Adds New Director,
Manager of Culinary
The University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
has named Steve Casad
the new director of Dining and Affiliated Retail Services
. He brings more than 25 years of industry experience to his new position.
Casad has been involved in the development, expansion and transformation of several notable retail and foodservice operations. He oversaw construction and startup of operations at PETCO Park in San Diego, including 45 concession stands, eight retail locations and seven clubs. In addition, he has served as director of Food Service at SeaWorld San Diego, was vice president of Operations at The Los Angeles Zoo and has served as general manager for The American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Casad also has managerial experience at San Diego State University and at both the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park.
In addition, Julia Engstrom
has been named the manager of Culinary Enhancement
. Prior to this position, she was the director of catering, where she had been for 12 years.
In this new position, Engstrom will be working directly with Casad. “My new role will encompass retail business development, nutrition services, purchasing and culinary training for the dining and retail outlets,” she said. “This is truly a dream for me.”
Johns Hopkins Plants First
Culinary Herb Garden
As part of its campus-dining renaissance and its commitment to operating an ever-more responsible program, The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore, Md., has planted its first culinary herb garden. JHU Dining will use the herbs it grows in its recipes at the Fresh Food Café, its premier campus-dining facility.
“We've spent the past several years improving every aspect of our program, and creating a more responsible dining program is an important part of that,” said Dave Furhman, Johns Hopkins University director of dining programs. “It makes no sense to purchase what we can reasonably grow ourselves. And, by doing so, we provide our culinary team, and thus our guests, with the freshest possible herbs, while reducing both food costs and the fuel required to transport herbs from elsewhere,” he continued.
Stanford Dining Receives
Award For Sustainability
Holding the 2007 Acterra Award for Sustainability
are Associate Vice Provost of Residential & Dining Enterprises Shirley Everett
and Executive Director for Stanford Dining Rafi Taherian
, surrounded by (from left to right) Kate Roessler
, Mary Duch
, Eric Montell
, Emmett Hopkins
, Amanda Gotthold
, Jeff Rosen
, Jemal Diamond
and Karen Andrews
New Head of MSU's Housing
and Food Services
has been named assistant vice president for housing and food services at Michigan State University in East Lansing
. Gore, who was previously associate director for housing and food services at the University of Washington, succeeds Charles Gagliano
, who retired in April
UMass Amherst Berkshire
Commons Receives Award
Livermore Edward and Associates of Waltham, Mass., received the Silver Citation in the 2007 American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase competition for its innovative and student-friendly redesign of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Berkshire Commons.
The $13.5 million project replaced the 45-year-old bland dining hall with an eye-catching restaurant-style eating experience. Surrounded by bright colorful walls, the inviting space allows students to sample food from around the world at one of 11 interchangeable stations.
Ken Toong, director of Dining and Retail Food Services at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, wanted to “create the best dining commons in the nation.” He believes he has succeeded on all levels. (For more information on the Berkshire Dining Commons, see the May issue of On-Campus Hospitality).
Compliments to the Chef
CHRISTIAN J. FISCHER,
CEC, CHC, AADP, CRTA
- Location: Corporate HQ, Wood-bury, N.Y.
- Self-Op or Leased: Lackmann Culinary Services
- Position: Corporate Executive Chef/ Director of Culinary Development
- Training: European Apprenticeship Program, 4-year Hotel and Restaurant Management College
- Previous Experience: Corporate Executive Chef, Nestle USA; Director of Culinary, Shorehaven Country Club; Corporate Executive Chef, Gardner Merchant; owner of two restaurants and held Executive Chef positions in Italy, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Sweden and Austria
- Industry Memberships and Affiliations: American Culinary Federation (ACF); World Association of Cooks Society; Research Chefs Association; Toque Blance; American Bakers Society; Organic Chefs Collaboration; Les Amis d'Escoffier Society; AADP; Manchester “Who is Who” Society; American Chefs Collaborative; Vaerband Der Koche Austria
- Awards: I have received 18 gold medals in national and international food competitions.
- Greatest Accomplishments: I had my first successful restaurant at the age of 19.
Halibut Over a Zesty
10, 8-ounce halibut filets
5 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
5 fluid ounces lemon juice
2-1/2 ounces basil, fresh chiffonade
10 ounces wheat berry, cooked
10 ounces barley, cooked
10 ounces brown rice, cooked
5 tablespoons cider vinegar
2-1/2 cups raisins
1-1/4 cups scallions, minced
5 tablespoons basil, fresh chiffonade
- Brush olive oil on filets and season both sides with salt, garlic and parmesan cheese.
- Bake in a 375-degree oven for 5 minutes.
- Turn fish and bake for an additional 8 minutes, or to desired doneness.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with lemon juice and basil.
- Cook grains separately until desired doneness. Rinse well and chill.
- Combine the chilled grains with the remaining ingredients.
- Mix well, season to taste.
On The Cover: Melinda Gibson, executive chef at California University of Pennsylvania, prepares a peach crisp at the 13th Annual Chef Culinary Conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
©2010 Executive Business Media, Inc.