College foodservice becomes a big "bracket"

The Cooking Channel stages a favorite college foods competition.

By 
Lindsey Ramsey, Contributing Editor

I’ve written about how I think it is semi-ridiculous to rank the food at different colleges, but this is just too much fun to ignore. Taking a page from the NCAA Championship basketball tournament, The Cooking Channel has compiled a list of “classic” college foods from around the country and then matched them up head to head in true March Madness style. Website visitors can vote for their favorites; winning foods move on to the next round.

Perusing the list of contenders I saw a few items created by dining services worth calling out, especially in light of FSD’s signature online series (the second of which, to be posted online in a few days, includes an item on this list). Here are the contenders that are made in-house by the universities' respective foodservice departments. Congrats to all for making the cut!

From cookingchanneltv.com

   Gonzaga University: COG Cookies
   The Center of Gonzaga (COG) servesthese soft, crunchy, straight-from-the-oven  
   chocolate chip cookies at all sporting events. Now that’s something to cheer for.

   University of Kansas: ChickenCheddar Wrap
   The crunchy chicken tender wraps sold at on-campus shop Brellas are so popular,
   every year students participate in a race where they down these sandwiches at the
   halfway point.

   University of Maryland: Fear the Turtle Ice Cream
   On-campus shop The Dairy turns its vanilla ice cream into creative flavors like this
   white chocolate, caramel and pecan fave that unites students against competitors
   (cough, Duke).

The full list is worth reading, just to see what college student customers are loving in other parts of the country. Perhaps, the competition can even inspire a few new menu ideas for those that didn’t make the list? I for one would be interested to try what looks the Marquette-area creation of spaghetti topped with chili and cheddar cheese. To check out the full bracket, click here.  

Keywords: 
menu development

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
bolognese sauce

We’re trying to bring scratch cooking to all the elementary schools, but we’re taking it dish by dish. Right now, we satellite a lot of the dishes out. This month we made a Bolognese from scratch, and went to each of the schools to talk to them about the process and see if they could implement it. It helps us find out the hurdles and what they are going to need to make it work.

Ideas and Innovation
rolling silverware

Ensuring that employees regularly complete the busywork missing from their daily checklist can be a challenge, but these tasks often help an operation run efficiently with fewer unexpected costs. At Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Regional Executive Chef Dustin Cochran has found a solution to ensure his walk-in coolers always have a clean vent. Cochran starts with a thorough cleaning of the vent, then slips a hairnet over it to catch the dust. Instead of getting employees to deep clean the vents, they need only replace the hairnet.

Ideas and Innovation
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

FSD Resources