DIY grilled cheese

grilled cheese

Specialty grilled cheese is one of the hottest comfort food trends in non-commercial foodservice, with chefs coming up with their own interpretations of this 1960s invention.

Sometimes, operators leave the grilled cheese decision up to customers, like they do in the employee café at the administrative offices of Golden Living, a senior living company, in Fort Smith, Ark.

“Grilled cheese is not just a staple in our dining center; it is sometimes a special event,” says Executive Chef Mickey Sellard. “We do a grilled cheese bar with an assortment of breads and rolls, 10 to 12 cheeses, bacon, chicken sausage, bacon jam, fig preserves, sliced strawberries, sun-dried tomatoes—whatever we can think of that would create a tasty bite. Guests can have as many cheeses as they like on their creation, and we grill them in our panini press.”

Sellard adds that customers seem to enjoy trying new flavors, “and we pick up a lot of the cheeses locally, so if they try something new that they enjoy, we can [go to]the store for more.”

At Pennswood Village, a retirement community in Newtown, Pa., grilled cheese has a starring role in Sunday dinners, according to Executive Chef Steve Plescha.

“We have an assortment of panini and other grilled sandwiches on our menu,” Plescha says. “But at Sunday supper, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., along with our ever-changing seasonal menu we offer a Build Your Own Grilled Cheese special. This has been with us for more than eight years now, and it’s very popular.”

Residents are given a check-off sheet with a choice of several breads, including gluten-free, five types of cheese, and a variety of add-ons such as turkey, imported ham, applewood-smoked bacon, roasted peppers, tomatoes and onions. Residents indicate their choices on the sheet, and their sandwiches are made to order for them, Plescha says, “while they are enjoying a soup or appetizer.” 

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
eggs

Loyola University Maryland took a new approach to all-day breakfast with an egg-focused concept.

Breakfast options were top of mind for students when asked what they would like to see on the menu at the university’s revamped Boulder Garden Cafe. Instead of creating an all-day breakfast station, however, the Baltimore-based dining team went beyond traditional options and created a concept that services all mealparts with eggs.

“It can be somewhat mundane,” says Executive Chef Don Crowther on why the team strayed away from the trendy all-day breakfast. At the eatery’s Sunny...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Kansas has added a retail pass that allows students to purchase one to-go combo meal per day at cafes and markets on campus, the University Daily Kansan reports.

The pass is available on two different meal plans and is geared toward on-the-go students who don’t have the time to sit down and eat at a residence hall.

“It has increased the participation rate,” Jamie Reed, a service assistant for the school’s dining services, told the University Daily Kansan.

Over 1,800 students have used the pass since its debut at the beginning of the semester....

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Minnesota dining team has created a vegan student group in an effort to improve the school’s vegan offerings, Minnesota Daily reports.

The group was created by the school’s foodservice vendor, Aramark, and its campus sustainability coordinator, who is vegan, after receiving numerous complaints from students about the lack of vegan options on campus.

The group will this week host its first meeting, during which members will be able to share feedback and provide solutions to help enhance the school’s vegan offerings. Members will also keep a photo journal...

Industry News & Opinion

Panera Bread Co. announced today that it intends to buy the Au Bon Pain brand as a way of opening more bakery-cafes in colleges, healthcare facilities, office buildings, travel centers and malls.

Au Bon Pain, which was Panera’s sole business under an earlier incarnation of the company, consists of 304 bakery-cafes. Several units are located in noncommercial venues.

Panera owns or holds the franchise rights to about 2,050 restaurants, few of which are located outside of strip malls.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Immediately after the deal was...

FSD Resources