Fans attending baseball games at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, N.C., have a new food option when they get hungry: a rib eye steak sandwich.
“It is about 3/16 of an inch thick,” said Ross Simmons, concessions and special projects manager with Aramark, the campus foodservice provider. “We purchase the rib eye whole, and have our chef, Paul Cyr, slice it up for us. We have a grated gas grill in our concessions booth. The steak is placed on a hoagie roll, and we put a coating of Sweet Baby Ray's on it just before it goes out the window.”
The staff is always looking for new food options for games, and Simmons found this after visiting a number of other parks. “I am a baseball umpire, all the way from Little League to some college baseball, as well,” he said. “I get to go to a lot of baseball parks, particularly a lot of the youth parks. A lot of the organizations depend on the fundraising from concessions. A lot of them for the last few years have been grilling out these rib eye steak sandwiches. I know how much money they make on them, so I figured it would be good to stir some sales here.” ...
Todd Lanning, Food Service director with Aladdin Food Management Services at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., is always on the lookout for ideas to keep his program fresh.
So when he was at the dentist for a checkup, he picked up the only magazine he could find in the waiting area — the women's magazine Redbook — and was pleased when he saw a small article called “Trick Out Your Yogurt.” “After seeing it, I thought it was pretty creative and fun for the students,” he said. “We took their idea and ran with it.”
The article suggested using different topping combinations with Greek yogurt. “I just used plain Greek yogurt from Yoplait, and then had six different combinations utilizing about 15-20 different ingredients,” said Lanning. “The students could come up and get the yogurt and get the toppings. We topped them and served it to them. We prepared it for them. We had each of the six different types of the yogurt.” ...
When Jacqueline Craig, district campus chef at Howard University in Washington, D.C., was a child, she was very inquisitive. That inquisitive nature is what led her to a career in the culinary arts.
“My uncles on both sides of the family were in the hospitality business,” she said. “Both of them ran small catering businesses on the side. The family helped out, and I was the nosy kid who kept coming in and saying, 'What are you doing?' 'How do you do that?' 'Can I do it?' So I think that is how it became a part of my structured life.”
Craig's parents died when she was young, so she took a job with D.C. Public Schools to help the family. “I worked there for 16 years, helping my sister finish her high school education in Catholic school,” she said.
While working for the public schools, she still helped her uncle part-time. One day, she said, “He just came out and said, 'This is not what you want to do; this is not where your heart is … I will help you go to culinary school. I will pay your bills.'”
Craig took the retirement money she had invested for 16 years to pay for school. “And my uncle helped me pay bills.”
She attended L'Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Md., and then studied at Stratford University in Virginia. After culinary school, she interned at the Smithsonian Institution. “I worked for Restaurant Associates. I stayed at the museum for 4 years and from there, I came to Campus Services at Howard with another company, and then from that company, I came to Sodexo, which now runs food service here.”...