UMD dining honors late alum Jim Henson

Sept. 29—A birthday party to celebrate what would have been Jim Henson’s 75th birthday provided an opportunity for dining services at the University of Maryland, Henson’s alma mater, to provide some Henson-themed treats for students. Joe Mullineaux, senior associate director, says the department created a multilayered cake in the shape of Kermit’s face, and chocolate and vanilla cupcakes stuffed with ‘Kermit Green” filling, iced with Kermit Green icing.

“The University Development office asked us to come up with an idea for an afternoon treat for about 300 guests that would be easy and quick to serve,” Mullineaux says. “The challenge was that they asked for this about one week before the event. So our very creative administrative chef, Jeff Russo, worked on several different ideas that would be fun and relate to both Jim Henson and the birthday theme. That led the Development office to create a birthday party event with the Maryland Marching Band playing ‘Happy Birthday’ and several hundred guests being lead in song by our university president and members of the Henson Family.”

For photos from the event, visit FSD’s Facebook page.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
sweet pea ravioli

On any given night at the Wake Robin senior living facility in Shelburne, Vt., residents may find spring sweet pea and mascarpone ravioli with white wine cream sauce or acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and cranberries on the menu. These dishes, along with a new sweet-potato burger topped with cilantro aioli, aren’t just delicious, says Director of Dining Services Kathy King. They’re also completely vegetarian.

The popularity of Meatless Mondays and the growing number of people who call themselves “flexitarians” have impacted menu development in every noncommercial sector. Although...

Managing Your Business
umass amherst food

Restaurateurs in Amherst, Mass., aren’t happy with UMass Dining .

Registered dietitian Dianne Sutherland told local NBC affiliate WWLP News in May that the high quality of food served on campus means students aren’t visiting neighborhood eateries as frequently as those businesses might like.

“Even our vendors who we work with, they get complaints from the restaurants that students are staying on campus,” she said. “They are already paying for the food; why should they [go] off campus to eat?” More than 19,000 Amherst students are on a meal plan—6,000 of whom live off campus...

Ideas and Innovation
lettuce eat dining

Forced to battle crumbling infrastructure and a constant churn of trends, sometimes the best way to save a foodservice operation is to change it entirely. As Steve Mangan, director of dining at the University of Michigan, puts it, “At some point when your building starts to fail, the cost of maintenance stands out.” But for operators with limited budgets, the challenge is discerning the right time to do so—and how far to take it.

At Jefferson High School, change came because little worked anymore. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, school’s cafeteria hadn’t been updated since 1957; students...

Managing Your Business
farmer produce

The seeds of farm-to-table 2.0 have officially blown into noncommercial foodservice. Since the movement has caught the attention of the segment during the past decade, operators have broadened agricultural collaborations outside of just supply. As a result, a new strain of the movement has been created that treats farms as allies in events, training and innovative growing systems.

The 500-bed Overlook Medical Center in Summit, N.J., didn’t start out sourcing produce from local farms; instead, it administered its own growing programs, including an on-site garden and honeybee apiary...

FSD Resources