Lindsey Ramsey

Lindsey Ramsey
Contributing Editor
foodservicedirector@winsightmedia.com


I was lucky enough to make the trip to Amherst, Mass., this week for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst-hosted Best Campus Food event. Ken Toong, executive director of auxiliary services, and his dining team invited five of The Princeton Review’s top 10 campus food departments to come to UMass and put on a special event.

FSD thought it would be informative to check in with three operators from other segments to get their initial thoughts on the new school meal regulations and what it means for the industry as a whole.

The Bleacher Report posted a fairly arbitrary slideshow about the coolest food items offered at the top 25 college football stadiums. Some choices are from off-campus restaurants, but there were some shout-outs for the colleges' respective foodservice operators. I know not every dining services department handles concessions for their institutions but a few of these menu items seemed interesting enough to share.

There was a time when food in a library was definitely considered a no-no, but as technology has changed libraries have become more welcoming of foodservice as a way to bring traffic back to the...
Particularly on college campuses, Recipes From Home programs are an engaging way to make the foodservice experience more personal, both for diners and staff. For our Recipe Issue, we decided to ask...
When the time came to design a concept for a vastly underserved area of campus at 10,700-student Johnson & Wales University, contemporary rustic Italian became the winning idea, according to...
Education is key to both the employee and student wellness programs at 32,300-student West Virginia University.
Gourmet Dining, a regional foodservice management company, believes in working closely with customers to customize each unit to that location’s needs. With 17 accounts, mostly in college...
Going to The Dairy at the University of Maryland is like going back in time—in more ways than one. Not only is this retail shop contained in a space that, according to head baker and pastry...

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Ideas and Innovation
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On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
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We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
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We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
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Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

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