Meredith Dining hosted four guest chefs to participate in a Kitchen Takeover Competition on Tuesday, November 12, in Belk Dining Hall. Students were invited to enjoy the signature dishes the Aramark chefs prepared and asked to vote on their favorites. In return, participants were given a free t-shirt.
Among the chefs were David Mason, Jon-Michael Rehm, Paul Stanley, and Mike Obrochta. They served a variety of unique dishes including street tacos, specialty sandwich sliders, flatbreads, and traditional Spanish paella.
In addition to the various entrée options, the event also featured dessert, a live DJ, table decorations, and a photobooth.
“Not only was the food delicious, but the event itself was a lot of fun,” said sophomore Hunter Straub. She noted that the crab cakes were her favorite.
Brittany Cook, senior marketing manager at Aramark, played a key role in organizing the event. Cook said that she was excited to have the guest chefs help serve Meredith students for the day.
“We wanted to bring this program to Meredith College to showcase our amazing culinary talent, here on campus and around the region,” said Cook. “Most students know the chefs and food service workers here at Meredith but this was a great opportunity to introduce them to our team of chefs around North Carolina and Virginia that support each other throughout the year.”
This event is one of many exciting initiatives Meredith Dining has led this year to improve the campus dining experience. There has been a strong focus on increasing the amount of meal options for students, especially those with dietary restrictions. Of the main dishes served at Belk Dining Hall, 30% are now vegetarian or vegan.
There has also been an emphasis on improving overall nutritional health of campus meals. In partnership with the American Heart Association, the dining team has reduced saturated fat and sodium in meals by an average of 15% and increased the amount of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables by 9%.
The dining services team hopes to continue providing healthy, diverse menus and unique culinary experiences such as this one for students to enjoy.