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

Ideas and Innovation
oversized portions

Here are the trends FSD's Chefs’ Council members wish would go away.

Kale Gluten-free Sriracha Chipotle Microgreens on everything Sous vide cooking Aversion to bread Healthy desserts Vegan diets Lies about local sourcing/organic food Fast food Cupcakes Pumpkin spice Fat-free or low-fat Meatless Mondays Bread cones Rigid child nutrition guidelines Bacon on everything Cajun Doughnuts with over-the-top toppings Oversized portions Fried foods Pinterest
Ideas and Innovation
Frose

Frose, sushi burgers and single-item restaurants are hot topics as of late, according to Forbes, which recently released a list of seven buzzwords in the foodservice world. Here’s what’s trending, in no particular order.

Blended burgers Frozecco and frose Goth food Hemp Single-item restaurants Sushi burger Upcycling
Industry News & Opinion
MeuDirections

One of my favorite cartoons shows a commander whose soldiers are in the midst of fighting a war with bows and arrows. Without turning around, he tells a man who has come up behind him, “I’m sorry, I’m too busy to talk to you.” The man was a rifle salesman.

In today’s time-pressed world, we are all too busy. So, it can be difficult to find time to reach out to others for ideas, solutions and best practices. But as that cartoon illustrates, it’s critical to being successful. The sharing of knowledge is a pillar of FoodService Director . Through our magazine and events, we have been...

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

FSD Resources