Some new changes have been made to the Main Dining Room for the new year, with a focus on health and improving food services for the students.
Pre-made sandwiches have been added to the menu, and the kitchen is using higher-end bases and stocks for sauces that are gluten-free. The kitchen is also trying to avoid ingredients with monosodium glutamate, a food additive for enhanced flavor, to the best of its ability. More advertising for the grill’s other features is also underway.
As in previous years, grilled chicken, veggie burgers, turkey burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches can be requested at the grill.
“We also try to keep on hand gluten-free hot dog buns, hamburger buns, and tortilla shells,” head chef Adam Uding said. Uding has been head chef since this previous summer. “We moved the waffle machine over by the new ice cream machine, and brought in an ice cream topping dispenser.”
Pizza that’s made with gluten-free dough is now available upon request, and vegan cheeses are available as well.
“[The pizza station] will also have calzones, stromboli and other handheld foods to break up the monotony of always having a pasta bar,” Uding said. “Don’t be afraid, however, as we will have pasta bars on Friday!”
After listening to the feedback students gave last semester, the kitchen has also increased the rotation of special lettuces and the amount of proteins available at the salad bar for a wider variety. They have also replaced the old dressing dispensers with upgraded holders that don’t spill or drip as easily as the old ones.
“We also purchased a popcorn machine that will run from lunch to dinner, and we have two new refrigerators that hold plain soy, lactose-free dairy, and almond milk,” Uding said. “We also have Sammy’s bagels delivered daily.”
Lastly, the breads were moved to the cereal station to provide students with a completely gluten-free station, and headquarters are looking into purchasing more bread products made without gluten to expand upon the station.
Chef Uding and his kitchen staff are working diligently to improve the overall food experience for students here at Capital by talking with students and staff alike every day.
“[The] deli now has a staff member making sandwiches Monday through Friday,” Uding said. “When my staff is comfortable with the pace, I will bring in specialty meats and make better sandwiches available. I want Italian Subs, Muffaletta, Reubens, and much more.”
When asked about the changes, Uding not only mentioned the overall goal of healthier choices, but also mentioned that the changes were in large part to the collective voices of students.
On occasion, Uding has a premium night every other Monday, where he and another chef or lead cook will talk to students about what they want to see in the cafeteria during dinner.
“Please know that we are able to do this due to a higher rating on the end of the last semester on our Voice of the Customer card,” Uding said. “Those little ‘Got A Minute’ cards that are at our locations really matter to us. They also go straight to corporate, and it is also a documented way to know, ‘Hey! This is what we are asking for.’”