Signature Series: Burgers

Operators share the burgers that keep customers coming back for more.

Smoked Cheddar Cheeseburger
Michigan State University, East Lansing

When Kurt Kwiatkowski, corporate chef of Culinary Services at MSU, set out to create a signature item for the department's new Eat at State ON THE GO food truck, he quickly decided he wanted an item that showcased the campus's commitment to local products.

"That led me to our MSU beef," Kwiatkowski says. "At first, it was going to be a bacon cheeseburger, but I started playing around with the cheeses from our campus dairy and I fell in love with the smoked cheddar."

Kwiatkowski says the smoked cheddar was too strong on its own, so he decided to cut it with a tradition sharp cheddar, also from the campus dairy. The burger also features product from the campus organic farm, when in season, as well as a bun from a local bakery.

"The nice thing is you get a little bit of the carmelization of the meat, which gives a really nice meat flavor. Then you get the smoky sensation from that cheddar, the crunch of the lettuce, the acid of the tomatoes and the bite from the red onion. It all just plays really nice together. People have told me it's the best burger they've ever had. I’d say about 40% of our truck sales is the burger."

See full recipe

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Risley Dining Room at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has just become 100 percent gluten-free, 14850.com reports.

For the past two years, the university has slowly phased out gluten in the dining hall’s menu by eliminating it in its stir fries, biscuits and brownies.

Instead of offering gluten-free versions of typical college fare, including pizza and pasta, the dining service team aimed for more sophisticated restaurant-style items.

Along with being gluten-free, Risley is also peanut free and tree-nut free.

The dining room is the second college eatery...

Industry News & Opinion

James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., recently hosted a weeklong program called Weigh the Waste, which aimed to show students how much food gets wasted in dining halls, The Breeze reports.

Throughout the week, students placed food they were about to throw away on a scale located near the trash bins at one of their dining halls. At the end of the week, the school tallied the waste and saw that 817 pounds of food had been wasted.

School officials hope that the annual program, which it’s hosted since 2015, will remind dining hall patrons to only take as much food as...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Maryland will begin offering weekly specials at all of its dining halls this semester, The Diamond Back reports.

The weekday specials will allow Dining Services to offer past menu items that students miss as well as new dishes students have been requesting, according to a spokesperson.

Students can find out which specials are being offered each week via dining hall table tents as well as through Dining Services’ social media. During select weeks, the specials may reflect a particular theme, such as Taste of the South.

Read the full story via...

Menu Development
salad chicken

Vegetables and grains have stepped into the spotlight, thanks to the “flipping the plate” trend, but protein is still an important part of a balanced diet. Sources including meat, cheese, nuts, and meat alternatives such as tofu and tempeh can and should still be on the plate—albeit as a side dish or topping rather than the main event.

“Whatever we do [as FSDs] needs to be rooted in the culture, and today’s culture is all about healthy eating and plant-focused meals,” says Chris Studtmann, executive chef at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. “A recipe is an idea; culture is...

FSD Resources