Healthy Fare that's In Demand

C&U operators dish about nutritious food that faculty and students crave.

Sizzling Station
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Penn.

Situated next to the salad bar at Erdman Dining Hall at this college of 1,300 students is the Sizzling Station. Students select from an assortment of snap peas, baby corn, carrots, edamame and bean sprouts, choose from a rotation of brown, white or jasmine rice in the nearby rice cooker, and then prepare their own stir-fried meals over two burners. They can use sesame oil or vegetable oil, soy sauce, teriyaki, Old Bay seasoning, sesame seeds and Sriracha hot sauce. “Students at Bryn Mawr are independent and like doing things on their own,” says Joseph Ludwig, unit manager. “They decide how much or how little seasoning, how much oil. It gives them a feeling that they’re eating well—and they are.”

With 15% to 20% of the students from Asian countries, says Ludwig, the Sizzling Station helps them feel, food-wise, a little closer to home. “Gluten-free students also like the option when they can’t eat what’s on the line that night,” he adds. While he doesn’t have quantitative data, Ludwig says there is always a large group at the station with four or five people regularly waiting during lunch and dinner.

The idea was born four years ago when students were looking for more vegetarian options. Students were already making their own omelets in the morning, so the same station was converted into the stir-fry option for lunch and dinner. A student worker is assigned to the area to keep the utensils and pans clean and refresh items when necessary. The station is “front and center” in the serving area of the dining room. Initially, the station was marketed with signs and featured on Facebook and Twitter, but that’s no longer necessary—all the students know about it, says Ludwig “I’ve heard tour guides specifically mention it on their open house tours,” he says. The school’s small size makes such an option manageable, says Ludwig, and he hopes to add two more burners soon. 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The menu served at Ottawa General Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, is headed for an overhaul after its CEO and management team ate a strict hospital food diet for a week and were unhappy with their options. The foodservice department has been fielding patient complaints for years, but decided to take action after facing the issue head on.

“Getting food managers to eat three meals of hospital food a day for a week brought the point home that much of the food being served was bland, institutional and not what people would normally eat,” Director of Food Services Kevin Peters told Ottawa...

Industry News & Opinion

With overtime pay likely to become a reality for some salaried foodservice employees after Dec. 1, operators are rethinking what they expect managers to do off-site as part of their responsibilities. Answering email or scheduling shifts at home didn’t matter when the employees were exempted from overtime if they earned more than $23,660 per year. But with that threshold more than doubling on Dec. 1 to $47,476, a half hour spent here and there on administrative tasks could push a salaried manager over the 40-hours-per-week threshold and entitle him or her to overtime. And how does the...

Menu Development
frozen raspberries

“As a chef, I pretty much have grown up through the business thinking that fresh was always better—produce, fish and meats, especially,” says Ryan Conklin, executive chef for UNC Rex Healthcare’s culinary and nutrition services. “But the more ‘re-educated’ I get, the more I’m learning that some frozen options may be more appropriate for me to be using on my menus.”

Right now, the perception of frozen foods doesn’t match the reality, especially for high-volume foodservice operators, says Conklin. Often, chefs and operators picture not-great product that’s been sitting in a block of...

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

FSD Resources