Serving Fresh, Nutrient Rich Foods


Andrew was recently promoted to executive chef for a liberal arts college in New England that has about 4,000 students, mostly living on campus. Having graduated from culinary school six years ago, he has much experience in restaurants and came to work at this college a year ago as the sous chef. The foodservice department puts out quality meals, with an emphasis on fresh, nutritious foods, many of which are organic and/or locally grown.

Andrew has been asked through a professional association to help out a chef at a nearby community college whose students are complaining about the food in the cafeteria. Before he talks to the chef, he drops by at the community college cafeteria to pick up dinner on his way home. These are the problems he finds.


1) The cafeteria has stations for sandwiches, burgers and grill foods, pizza, hot entrées and sides, and a tiny salad bar shoved in a corner. The first thing Andrew notices is the lack of color. Everything looks bland. What could be contributing to this and how would you fix it?

2) As Andrew looks more at the grill station, he notices some burgers have been cooked and left on a cool part of the grill. He also notices lots of overcooked vegetables in the steam table at the hot food station, and brown lettuce and wilting vegetables in the salad bar. Andrew knows that foods that are overcooked or beyond their freshness are not only unappealing, but they are low in nutrients. Give two recommendations to solve these problems.

3) At one point, Andrew peeks into the kitchen and sees fresh produce sitting out at room temperature and cooks boiling vegetables in a kettle. How fresh produce should be handled once it is delivered, and what are the best ways to cook vegetables to retain nutrients?

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