With the focus on finding healthier ways of feeding students, colleges and universities are always in search of ways to do just that — while maintaining the quality and flavor that is expected. Many have found ways to do this by choosing new equipment.
The University of New Hampshire (UNH) in Durham takes its commitment to health and wellness very seriously — and recently purchased equipment to help it achieve its goals.
UNH is an active participant in Menus of Change: The Business of Healthy, Sustainable, Delicious Food Choices, a ground-breaking initiative from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that works to create a long-term, practical vision for the integration of optimal nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility concerns within the foodservice sector and beyond.
Some of the initiative’s principles include:
• Reward better agricultural practices
• Globally inspired, largely plant-based cooking
• Focus on whole, minimally processed foods
• Think produce first
• Choose healthier oils
• Red meat: Smaller portions, less frequently
• Reduce added sugar
“We are going to pretty much consider that our bible on any new recipes that we write,” said Chris Kaschak, executive chef for Holloway Commons on campus. “That is going to be lowering sodium, changing the proteins, cutting down on the red meat and getting the students to understand portioning.”
Kaschak is putting some of those principles into practice at the grill area of Holloway Commons, which recently completed a renovation of the facility. Dining installed a Shuttle Precision Impingement Oven from Ovention.
“It is based on an impinger,” he said. “Basically, this works with hot air. What is really nice about this, if you look at an impinger oven, your product runs right through, you set the temperature and that’s it. ...
Convenience stores have been getting updated over the last few years on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville, with one store re-opening in the beginning of the year, and another opening this fall.
The P.O.D. Market at Beaty Towers re-opened in January. “We wanted a modern looking store,” said Jill Rodriguez, district marketing manager with Aramark, the campus foodservice provider. “The new look is just beautiful. It is fresh. It really needed a refresh, so it was due.”
The store is located in a residential area on the east side of campus. “It serves our on-campus residents primarily,” she said.
P.O.D. Market at Graham, which is in the residential area on the west side of campus, is opening this fall. “The store it is replacing is decades old,” said Rodriguez. “It was very, very dated looking. It was just a natural step to go to a P.O.D. Market for this final one. It will also include a small grill area called Chomp-It.” ...
When Akeisha Hayde, executive chef for Residential Dining at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., was growing up in Trinidad, she originally had thoughts of majoring in biology in school.
“In high school, we had to take home economics,” said Hayde. “A lot of people in my family cooked, and my grandparents, especially, were the ones I followed. My home economics teacher there thought I excelled at it so much. She said, ‘Why don’t you look into food as a profession?’ I looked at her like she was crazy, not really realizing there was so much more to it than what I knew about it.”
After high school, she moved to Brookline, Mass., a suburb of Boston, to attend culinary school at Newbury College in 2003. “It was a four-year program,” she said. “I did my associate’s in culinary arts and my bachelor’s in culinary management and a business minor.” ...
In her current position, she is involved in menu creation and ensuring that the campus dining areas are compliant. “The unique thing about Harvard is that we still have the house system, which means that we have 13 dining halls serving the same meal at the same time and expectations should be the same at every hall,” she said. “However, each hall has a different size, cooking equipment and a different set-up. It is not just a duplicate 13 times. It is also making sure that the vision of the program is followed through over all of the campuses. If you were to go from one hall to the other on the same day, it should look the same, taste the same. It is really about checking quality, recipe compliance, and those types of things.” ...
RECIPES: Curry Crab and Dumplings