Empty Bowls bring Bucknell together

Published in FSD Update

In partnership with various campus departments, the dining services team at Bucknell University, in Lewisburg, Pa., recently facilitated an event on campus named Empty Bowls 2014: A focus on International Women’s Day. With a mission to fight hunger internationally, Empty Bowls events invite guests to enjoy a meal of soup and bread out of bowls handcrafted by local artisans. In exchange for a monetary donation to the organization, guests can keep the artisan bowl as a reminder of world hunger.

For the Bucknell event, “the students work all year creating the bowls by hand and on the pottery wheels that we have here in the Bucknell Craft Center,” explains Gretchen Heuges, Craft Center coordinator. “Each year our goal is to make 300 bowls for the banquet. Students, faculty and staff contribute to the bowl-making and glazing process. This year we had a team of students take on the project by organizing bowl-making and glazing sessions that were then offered to the campus community.”

Empty Bowls is an annual event at Bucknell for students and faculty as well as the Lewisburg community, and dining services and local restaurants provide multiple soup options for the lunch and dinner seatings. “Over last eight years, Parkhurst Dining was asked to oversee food safety and act as facilitator with local restaurants,” explains John Cummins, general manager of resident dining at Bucknell with Parkhurst. Previously, “the soup arrived from local restaurants, but some would arrive at night, some warm, some tepid, some raw, [so it was a] food safety issue. [We’re] getting to the point where the soups are brought cold and properly chilled. Dining services provides two of the soups, and the bread is donated by an outside organization. It’s a great community event, and many students take part in it,” he says. Proceeds from the Bucknell event benefit the Community Harvest hot meal program in Milton, Pa.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
salad

We’re currently piloting a Salad Bar Happy Hour 
in Cafe 16. Due to Health Department regulations, any self-serve salad bar items must be disposed of after service. The salad bar goes “on sale” for 25 cents an ounce post-lunchtime to help reduce waste as well as offer value to customers.

Menu Development
sauces

Adding an entirely new cuisine to the menu can feel daunting. But what if you could dabble in international flavors simply by introducing a few new condiments? For inspiration, FSD talked to operators who are offering a range of condiments plucked from global regional cuisines.

“Most ethnic cuisines have some sort of sauce or condiment relishes that go with their dishes,” says Roy Sullivan, executive chef with Nutrition & Food Services at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. Condiments offered to diners at UCSF Medical include chimichurri (Argentina), curry (India), tzatziki (...

Ideas and Innovation
turnip juice brine

Give leftover brine new life by adding it to vegetables. In an interview with Food52, Stuart Brioza, chef and owner of State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, says that he adds a splash of leftover brine while sauteeing mushrooms to increase their flavor profile. “We like to ferment turnips at the restaurant, and it’s a great way to use that brine—though dill pickle brine would work just as well,” he says.

Menu Development
side dishes

Operators looking to increase sales of side dishes may want to focus on freshness and value. Here’s what attributes consumers say are important when picking sides.

Fresh - 73% Offered at a fair price - 72% Satisfies a craving - 64% Premium ingredients - 56% Natural ingredients - 49% Signature side - 47% Something familiar - 46% Housemade/made from scratch - 44% Something new/unique - 42% Large portion size - 42% Healthfulness - 40% Family-size - 40%

Source: Technomic’s 2017 Starters, Small Plates and Sides Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

FSD Resources