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
woman surprise

When I joined the staff at FoodService Director in the spring of 2015, I couldn’t believe how much there was to learn about the intricacies of the industry. My past experience, from kindergarten to my college days to on-the-job meals, would lead me to believe that noncommercial dining was a kind of automated process—an amenity that’s expected, and one you only become aware of if something goes wrong.

But as with my own household chores, there are no magical elves making sure the business of feeding students, seniors and hospital patients is done, and done well. Foodservice...

Managing Your Business
hands team

In November, students at University of Missouri in Columbia began leading protests against discrimination faced by people of color on campus—including some marches through the dining halls. Julaine Kiehn, director of the school’s campus dining services, said the 2015-16 school year was a tough one, but she was proud of MU’s students for being at the forefront of a national movement.

And not only did the protests launch important conversations with students, but also with staff. Kiehn heard the protests and thought that her student workers, at least, might not feel safe and welcome...

Ideas and Innovation

When it comes to sustainability, sometimes the smallest kitchen changes can make the biggest difference. When Chris Henning, senior assistant director of dining services for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, switched from standard latex gloves to nitrile gloves, he also set up a recycling program. Once recycled, the gloves are turned into playground equipment, bike racks and park benches.

Henning says the nitrile gloves have been a good fit for his department, both in terms of durability and cost. “Participating in the campus buying program reduces the cost, as [our]...

Ideas and Innovation
elderly old hands

A family’s request for at-home meal support for a patient at Lee Memorial in Fort Myers, Fla., led System Director of Food & Nutrition Services Larry Altier to uncover a gap in care. He saw that only 1% of patients had been coded (diagnosed and labeled for billing purposes) as malnourished, while more than 60% of all Lee Memorial patients are over 65 years or older, a population that experiences the issue at a higher rate.

His discovery helped more rigorously identify malnutrition, but it also strengthened Lee Memorial’s community connection. The hospital launched a delivery...

FSD Resources