DIY grilled cheese

grilled cheese

Specialty grilled cheese is one of the hottest comfort food trends in non-commercial foodservice, with chefs coming up with their own interpretations of this 1960s invention.

Sometimes, operators leave the grilled cheese decision up to customers, like they do in the employee café at the administrative offices of Golden Living, a senior living company, in Fort Smith, Ark.

“Grilled cheese is not just a staple in our dining center; it is sometimes a special event,” says Executive Chef Mickey Sellard. “We do a grilled cheese bar with an assortment of breads and rolls, 10 to 12 cheeses, bacon, chicken sausage, bacon jam, fig preserves, sliced strawberries, sun-dried tomatoes—whatever we can think of that would create a tasty bite. Guests can have as many cheeses as they like on their creation, and we grill them in our panini press.”

Sellard adds that customers seem to enjoy trying new flavors, “and we pick up a lot of the cheeses locally, so if they try something new that they enjoy, we can [go to]the store for more.”

At Pennswood Village, a retirement community in Newtown, Pa., grilled cheese has a starring role in Sunday dinners, according to Executive Chef Steve Plescha.

“We have an assortment of panini and other grilled sandwiches on our menu,” Plescha says. “But at Sunday supper, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., along with our ever-changing seasonal menu we offer a Build Your Own Grilled Cheese special. This has been with us for more than eight years now, and it’s very popular.”

Residents are given a check-off sheet with a choice of several breads, including gluten-free, five types of cheese, and a variety of add-ons such as turkey, imported ham, applewood-smoked bacon, roasted peppers, tomatoes and onions. Residents indicate their choices on the sheet, and their sandwiches are made to order for them, Plescha says, “while they are enjoying a soup or appetizer.” 

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Howard County Public School System in Ellicott City, Md., will be offering free lunch to students for two days during winter break, The Baltimore Sun reports.

This is the first time the district will be providing meals over winter break. The lunch will be served on Dec. 27 and 28 at two sites in the community.

About 22.2% of the district’s students are enrolled for free or reduced-price meals. The district served 66,276 meals last summer during its summer meal program .

Read the full story via baltimoresun.com .

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Cranston School District in Cranston, R.I., has hired a collection agency to help reduce its lunch debt , NBC 10 reports.

The district’s chief operating officer sent a letter to parents saying that the district would be using a collection agency next year to collect outstanding lunch balances after other collection methods have failed. Parents who owe $20 or more and haven’t paid in the last 60 days will receive a letter from the agency starting Jan. 2, 2019.

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As lunch shaming remains in the national spotlight, many school districts have turned away from providing alternate meals, such as a cheese sandwich, to students who can’t pay for lunch. While this ensures that students are provided a full meal and aren’t stigmatized, it has caused some districts to quickly accumulate lunch debt . In order to keep funds under control, school districts throughout the country are now relying on assistance from their communities to defray the cost of some meals.

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When looking for a way to get more use out of its Canyon Cafe, open during the weekends only, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., tried something new: free cooking classes.

Classes are open to students, as well as faculty and staff, and are taught by Campus Dining Executive Chef Michael Albright, according to Mustang News .

The weekday classes, which are capped at 14 participants, have taught attendees how to make items such as probiotic overnight oats and “the perfect turkey.” Interested parties can sign up online via the school’s dining...

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