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
chicken herbs

We make and broadcast short YouTube videos on TV monitors to educate our customers about cooking techniques, like how to cut up a chicken or what herbs and spices go well together. The monitors also are used to display daily menus, nutritional and allergen information, upcoming foodservice events and local weather forecasts.

Managing Your Business
wurster west may 2016

At a nearly 150-year-old university, every stone column and classroom has treasured stories to tell. But with that history come the logistical challenges of operating in outdated spaces—especially for foodservice. Such is the case at University of California at Berkeley, where longtime cafe Ramona’s in Wurster Hall closed in March to make way for an updated, as-yet unnamed concept.

With little more than a steam table and coolers, Ramona’s was limited by its lack of ventilation. And, as a former classroom space, it never was intended to function for foodservice, says Jennifer Wolch...

Ideas and Innovation
leftovers containers

We use our Menu Forward idea to empower staff to develop menu items and keep leftovers in check. Product left at the end of service may be claimed by any station to become part of a new item within six weeks. I’m happy to see my star team fighting for their ideas and products; the benefit to food cost is spot-on, and my freezer has no mystery items lurking in the corner.

Ideas and Innovation
food allergy

When potential students come to campus, we match them with a student from our allergy support group for a tour of our dining facilities. The ambassador helps the potential student to understand how they navigated campus with their food allergy. This showcases what we do for allergies on campus, and is a highly successful way to make the students feel good about dining.

FSD Resources