North Carolina State University: Southern food with a twist

Published in Menu Strategies

From Almond Board of California.

It’s not difficult to find traditional Southern dishes at North Carolina State University—after all, a vast majority of the university’s students come from North Carolina. But according to Randy Lait, senior director of hospitality services, a growing number of menu items blend old-school Southern with on-trend flavors.

According to Lait, today’s students have a much more adventurous palate because of early exposure to cuisines and food from around the world, and the university’s menu reflects that. "You’ll certainly find traditional versions of dishes like fried chicken, pulled pork, mashed potatoes and biscuits,” he says. “But with other menu items, we’ve tried to take Southern food and give it something interesting, like using sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes or adding jalapeño to cornbread.”

Lait and his staff also scratch-make many Southern favorites, such as house-smoked pulled pork, and use that to create other innovative menu items, including a barbeque pork flatbread. Additionally, they’re very focused on offering healthful versions of classic dishes, such as menuing meat without gravies, oven-frying rather than deep-frying and serving local greens and roasted vegetables. “Healthful has been part of our scheme overall,” says Lait.

Menu Sampler: North Carolina State University

  • BBQ Pork Sandwich: house smoked pork, cole slaw & eastern NC BBQ sauce
  • Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadilla
  • Edamame Succotash
  • Howling Cow Banana Pudding Ice Cream

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
fish tacos

From High Liner Foods.

Younger consumers are driving an increased focus on sustainability, and more consumers overall are demanding a wider variety of seafood on menus. With shifting interest in seafood, operators need to be familiar with the seafood consumer—who they are, what they’re looking for and when they eat it—to more effectively boost interest in seafood dishes.

Understand consumer habits

Technomic’s 2017 Center of the Plate: Seafood & Vegetarian report finds that 65% of consumers eat seafood at least occasionally (once every 90 days or more), either as an...

Industry News & Opinion

The Missouri House of Representatives has initially approved a bill that would enable students with dietary issues to forgo mandatory meal plans at public colleges and universities, U.S. News reports.

Approved Tuesday, the bill would grant students with medical documentation of food sensitivities, food allergies or medical dietary issues the right to opt out of meal plans.

Supporters of the bill say it will allow students to not have to pay for food they can’t safely eat, while opponents say that the bill will negatively impact schools financially. According to legislative...

Industry News & Opinion

A study released by Sodexo indicates that gender-balanced management improves team performance.

The 2018 study is an expansion of a previous Sodexo study that launched in 2014. The expanded study analyzed 50,000 managers in all levels of management from 70 entities around the world over five years.

The study found that teams managed by 40% to 60% women had better employee and client retention, saw fewer workplace accidents and increased their operating margins and employee engagement.

Industry News & Opinion

Rick Farmer, executive chef for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and Stephanie Powers, executive chef of Spring Harbor, a retirement community in Columbus, Ga., were crowned the winners of MenuDirections’ 2018 Culinary Competition.

Split into teams of two, chefs had 60 minutes to prepare and plate their own entrees using a preselected basket of ingredients such as beans, mushrooms and orange sauce. Each dish was judged on its presentation, taste and creativity.

The winning dish was orange glazed pork with a black bean and wild mushroom cake topped...

FSD Resources