Signature Series: Sandwiches & Wraps

Operators share customers' favorite deli-inspired items.

Shenandoah Panini
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va. (Aramark)

Cheesy Thursdays is a well-known campus tradition at James Madison University, according to Janet Worley. This is when the dining halls serve grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and homemade cheesecake.

“[Signature items] become part of the culture and university experience,” Worley says. “It’s important to create that experience so the students will remember it beyond graduation.”

Knowing grilled cheese’s place in the hearts of the students, the department wanted to create a special grilled cheese that showcased some local ingredients. The Shenandoah Panini is a grilled cheese with a twist, says Jay Vetter, executive chef.

“This area is known for poultry and apples,” Vetter says. “We take a grilled cheese and we add an apple cider marinated chicken to it. We top it with local apples, cheddar cheese and caramelized onions. At our grilled cheese station we also always serve the sandwiches with dipping sauces. For this particular sandwich, we offer a mustard barbecue sauce that contains local honey. We serve that with a deep-fried dill pickle.”

See full recipe 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
smoothie

Nurses often mention that at 2 p.m. they are dragging and just trying to get through their 12-hour shift. This winter I will be implementing a 2 p.m. pick-me-up, which will include a smoothie station where they can create their own smoothie to help get them through their shift. It will be filled with energy-boosting ingredients to personalize their own drink, such as bananas, almonds, spinach and even dark chocolate.

Ideas and Innovation
chili

Winter is when our guests frequently crave something comforting and hearty, and chili is great for that. Our plan is to boost guest engagement this winter by inviting them to design a unique chili experience. The guest chooses the type of chili first, then the vessel: bowl, bread or potato. Next, they customize their dish even further by choosing the toppings, which will be categorized as traditional, creamy, crunch or heat. The wild card, crunch and heat categories, are where my team and I will flex our creativity and highlight different flavors, ingredients or techniques.

Ideas and Innovation
new year party

In search of inspiration for this letter, I turned to the one I wrote for January 2017, in which I griped about some trends I wanted to toss in the new year. Twelve months later, the Sriracha trend has calmed down, food trucks seem slightly less pervasive and, while the definition of “clean” eating continues to evolve, it’s not so laser-focused on GMOs. So it seems my predictions were correct, including the one about where I’d be eating on New Year’s Day (though I had no clue my now-fiance would propose to me that night over duck noodle soup).

However, since this year has been...

Industry News & Opinion

Dining hall workers at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., have been asked to remove stickers worn in protest of working conditions at the school’s dining halls, The Stanford Daily reports.

School officials say that the stickers with the statement “Respect and a Fair Workload” go against a union-university agreement that states union members may not wear “insignia [with] any message that is vulgar, profane, or disparaging of Stanford, or that results in conflict or disruption in the workplace.”

In a conversation with The Daily, Seth Leibson, senior organizer for SEIU...

FSD Resources