Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/950112

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Page 30 of 91

Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 5321 2 UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSE T TS: New On-Campus Dining Concep t f rom Chef Jehangir Meh ta T he foodservice program at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass., is considered one of the most progressive in the nation, but even with worthwhile environmental goals, it runs into some chal- lenges. It isn't easy, for example, to adhere to local sourc- ing on a campus that serves tens of thousands of meals each day. That's where the university's partnership with Chef Jehangir Mehta comes in. Mehta, who has several New York City restaurants including Graffiti in the East Village, and has appeared on the Food Network 's "Next Iron Chef " competi- tion, is known for his sustainable and vegetable-centric menus. He helped the school design a foodservice concept that seeks to shine a spotlight on local sourcing and sustainability. Mehta worked with UMass Dining to develop a concept called The Pledge by Jehangir, a foodservice station within the Blue Wall Cafe, a 14- station food hall in the center of campus. The Pledge was created around the concept that small actions on the part of individuals can contribute to helping preserve the environment. Anyone dining at The Pledge must make a pledge—that they will walk 1,000 steps that day, for example, or will avoid buying a plastic water bottle. "It's meant to be fun and light-hearted and sort of nominal," says Van Sullivan, director of retail dining at UMass Dining. The pledges are not enforced, of course, but Sullivan says he hopes they at least make people cognizant of the potential they have to drive change. "It is a way to get the idea into people's heads that there are these very small actions they can take that are relevant," he says. This year, The Pledge concept has been expanded to all 24 retail dining outlets (the UMass foodservice facilities that are not affiliated with the residential dining halls), and Sullivan is weighing if it can be rolled out to residential dining facilities as well. Mehta created several dishes that incorporate food scraps and leftovers—rice pudding made with leftover rice, for example, and croutons made from leftover pizza, as well as salads that incorporate the ends of bulk meats and cheeses from the deli. In addition, The Pledge sources ingredients locally, including meat and poultry from nearby farms, and works with a local produce supplier, Fresh Point, that 28 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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