What a voraciously vegan college has on the menu

While many colleges are just breaking into complex vegan cuisine, Warren Wilson College, a work college in Asheville, N.C., has operated its Cowpie Cafe since the start of the new millennium.

The mostly vegan and entirely vegetarian cafe was created in 2000 after a group of students approached school officials asking to create a vegan eatery. Today, the student-run cafe serves lunch and dinner, and many students submit menu ideas to Executive Chef Meghan Tucker.

In keeping with the school’s sustainability goals, most ingredients are locally sourced—many right from campus.

“WWC has an on-campus garden that produces the bulk of the produce in Cowpie,” says Rebecca Walton, sustainability and marketing coordinator for Sodexo at Warren Wilson. “Oftentimes, menus are entirely planned around what the WWC garden has to offer that week.”

Here’s a rundown of some of its offerings.

The Dakota

Named after the student who submitted it, The Dakota is chef Tucker’s take on vegan chicken salad sandwiches.

Thai Carrot Ginger Soup

This Thai dish uses carrots grown on the campus farm.

Tempeh Reuben 

The tempeh is soaked in a brine made from Dijon mustard, tamari, molasses, apple cider vinegar and other herbs and spices. 



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