Tag Archive for Bon Appetit

Lobster, Clam Bake Highlight of Eat Local Challenge

Hundreds of students, faculty and staff attended the Eat Local Challenge, held Sept. 26 on Andrus Field. All food served was sourced or harvested from within 150 miles of Wesleyan’s campus.

During the 13th annual Eat Local Challenge on Sept. 26, Wesleyan students, faculty and staff dined on a midday meal made entirely from local ingredients.

The event challenged Bon Appétit Management Company staff to create a meal from products and ingredients harvested within a 150-mile radius of the campus. The meal included produce, meat, dessert and drinks from local farmers, ranchers, food crafters and fishermen.

Food included house-smoked pork-belly bacon from Lucki 7 Livestock Co. in Rodman, N.Y.; Bloomsday cheese from Cato Corner in Colchester, Conn.; lobster, little-neck clams and mussels from Damariscotta, Maine; apple cider-glazed chicken and baked corn from Horse Listener’s Orchard in Ashford, Conn.; potatoes from Szawlowski Farm in Hatfield, Mass.; butter and cream from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy in Ancramdale, N.Y.; turkey burgers and baked berry cobbler from Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm in Sterling, Conn.; rosemary focaccia bread, prepared with graham flour from Kenyon’s Grist Mill in Usquepaugh, R.I.; among much more.

Photos of the Eat Local Challenge are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Students Eat Local During Annual Food Challenge

On Sept. 29, Wesleyan hosted the annual Eat Local Challenge. This one-day only event challenged the Bon Appétit Management Company staff to create a midday meal entirely from products and ingredients harvested within a 150-mile radius of the campus. The meal included produce, meat, fish and other ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, food crafters and fishermen.

The lunch menu incorporated items such as corn on the cob from Horse Listener’s Orchard in Ashford, Conn. and clams and mussels provided by Ipswich Seafood in Ipswich, Mass. Kenian’s Grist Mill’s fried haddock from Yuscabog, R.I. and Szawlowski Farms’ potatoes from Hartfield, Mass. combined to give Wesleyan students a tasty fish and chips option in addition to the plethora of other choices such as clam chowder, beef burgers, crispy blue cornmeal cakes, apple cider marinated pork and tomato bisque.

About 20 farms, ranches and other companies werer represented throughout the lunch menu, and each product from the different companies added a new and unique flavor to the 2015 Eat Local Challenge.

Photos of the Eat Local Challenge are below: (Photos by Will Barr ’18. Story by Fred Willis ’19)

Eat Local Challenge, Sept. 29, 2015.

Eat Local Challenge, Sept. 29, 2015.

Wesleyan’s Vegan Cuisine Continues to Impress

Wesleyan’s vegan fare continues to impress voters and critics: collegemagazine.org has named the school the ninth best vegan campus nationwide, and Wesleyan is looking to reach the final round in the People’s Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) “March Madness”-style voting contest.

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According to collegemagazine.org:

Wesleyan not only boasts its history of social justice activism, but also a wide range of mouth-watering vegan foods. Veggie chicken red curry is just one of these fine meals. Let your senses run wild with Bon Appétit, the campus’ food supplier. Their navy bean soup, garden burger and steamed parsnips will have you running back for more. Even better, Bon Appétit serves vegan options all day, every day.

The article and rest of the top 10 universities can be found here.

As of March 16, Wesleyan has a commanding lead over Shippensburg University in PETA’s small school vegan cuisine contest. Wesleyan looks to reach the final round where it will potentially face Warren Wilson College, which has a small lead over Oberlin College.

The contest page can be found here.

Farm-to-Fork Program Celebrated at Eat Local Challenge

On Sept. 23, Wesleyan celebrated the 15th anniversary of Bon Appétit’s Farm to Fork program during the annual Eat Local Challenge.

Bon Appétit, Wesleyan’s campus dining provider, served a menu with all local ingredients. All food — including produce and meat — came from farms or suppliers within a 150 radius of campus.

The menu included New England clam chowder, fried haddock and chips, clam bake, roasted pork, BBQ seitan with rosemary potatoes and mushrooms, wood-fired pizza, steamed potatoes and corn, farmhouse salad and strawberry and blueberry crisp for dessert.

Students also voted for their favorite farm. The winner, announced next week, will receive a $5,000 grant from Bon Appétit Management Company.

Photos of the event are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)
Watch a FOX CT newscast of the event here.

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Wesleyan Participates in Eat Local Challenge Day

The Wesleyan community celebrated the eat-local movement on Eat Local Challenge Day Sept. 24. Wesleyan’s Dining Services and several local vendors provided meals made entirely from local ingredients harvested within 150 miles of the university.

The menu included New England clam chowder, fried haddock and fresh cut french fries, whole spit roast pig with cranberry chutney, New England clam bake with steamer clams, corn and potatoes, vegan seitan hash, salad made from Long Lane Farm produce, wood fired pizza, blueberry and strawberry crisp, ice cream, apple cider, coffee and soda.

Vendors included Pierce Brothers Coffee Roasters from Greenfield, Mass.; Sid Wainer & Son Specialty Foods from New Bedford, Mass.; Dole & Bailey Northeast Family Farms from Woburn, Mass.; Horse Listeners Orchard from Ashford, Conn.; Jake’s Ice Cream from Nashua, N.H.; and Avery Soda from New Britain, Conn.

Photos of the event are below. (Photos by Hannah Norman ’16)

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Wesleyan Named “Most-Vegan-Friendly College”

Peta2 selected Wesleyan as the 2012 "Most Vegan-Friendly College" in the small U.S. schools category.

Peta2 selected Wesleyan as the 2012 “Most Vegan-Friendly College” in the small U.S. schools category.

Peta2 selected Wesleyan University as the 2012 “Most Vegan-Friendly College” in the small U.S. schools category. Wesleyan also won the contest in 2009.

Tens of thousands of students nationwide voted for the nominees.

According to Peta2, the number of vegan college students has more than doubled nationwide since 2005, and it only continues to rise as students learn about the routine abuse that animals face when killed for food.

“When a school has chefs who specialize in vegan desserts on staff, you know you’re in for a treat,” Peta2 reported on Wesleyan’s dining options. “This year’s (Halloween dessert) theme, Gotham City, even included a vegan chocolate-molded Batmobile! If you’re not in the mood for sweets, have no fear. With innovative entrées, including vegan fettuccini Alfredo, Aloo gobi, and Mongolian seitan with wild rice salad and cranberries, students can always find a cruelty-free meal anywhere on campus.”

Wesleyan’s Dairy Products Supplied by Alumni Farmers

Rick Osofsky ’66 and his daughter Kate ’94, owners of Ronnybrook Farm Dairy in Ancramdale, N.Y., are providing the dairy products for Wesleyan. 

Rick Osofsky ’66 and his daughter Kate ’94, owners of Ronnybrook Farm Dairy in Ancramdale, N.Y., are providing the dairy products for Wesleyan.

Got milk?

All-natural dairy products, farmed and distributed by two Wesleyan alumni, are MOOving into the university’s Dining Services this semester.

Rick Osofsky ’66 and his daughter Kate ’94 are owners and operators of Ronnybrook Farm Dairy in Ancramdale, N.Y. As second and third generation dairy farmers, the Osofskys pride themselves on their natural farming methods using a small herd of Holstein cows.

“Our dairy products are bottled on site in the morning, and since we’re located less than two hours from Wesleyan, they arrive fresh,” Rick explains. “We’re both so pleased to bring a bit of our farm back to Wesleyan.”

A frothy, white milk Ronnybrook mustache is actually “green.” The Osofsky family grass-feeds their cows in pesticide-free pastures, which may produce milk higher in Omega-3s and anti-carcinogens. All manure generated on the farm fertilizes the crops they grow for feed, and they heat the farm’s water with a 30-panel solar heat collector. They also reuse glass bottles up to 12 times before sending them to a recycling facility.

Ronnybrooks’ all-natural farming methods lead to a better-tasting, and better-for-you dairy product, explains Brian Dagnall, executive chef of Wesleyan’s Dining Services.

“When (Wesleyan’s) Dining Services began carrying Ronnybrook products last March, the drinkable yogurts flew off the shelves,” Dagnall says. “We feel that Ronnybrook is the best possible dairy source to provide us with dairy, and their Wesleyan ties were secondary to us. Their product is by far the best in the area,” Dagnall says.

This fall, students will find Ronnybrook milk and other dairy products at the Usdan Marketplace, Usdan Cafe, Summerfields Dining Hall, Pi Café and Wes Shop. In addition, Wes Shop will participate in a glass bottle milk program where students can exchange their empty bottle for a full bottle.

Ronnybrook Farm originated in 1941 by Nana and Papa Osofsky,

Mert Champagne: Wesleyan’s Pizza Man Makes 45 Creations a Day

Mert Champagne, a cook in Usdan University Center's Marketplace, takes special requests at the pizza station. His specialty is a white pizza made with garlic, ricotta cheese, plum tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Mert Champagne, a cook in Usdan University Center's Marketplace, takes special requests at the pizza station. His specialty is a white pizza made with garlic, ricotta cheese, plum tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Q: Mert, why do students call you “the pizza man?”

A: Because I make pizzas. It’s all I do. Pizza and special stuffed breads. I love my job. Pizza makes students happy.

Q: How long have you been making pizza?

A: This is my third year making pizza, but I’ve been working for Dining Services for 14 years. There’s also a pizza maker on the evening shift and weekends.

Q: What’s the pizza-making process?

A: The bakers make the dough, but I am responsible for stretching it out. I make 45 pizzas a day. I roast fresh rosemary and garlic in the morning, and I rub the rosemary and oil on the dough before I bake the pizzas so it really seeps into the crust. All the pizzas are cooked in a wood stone oven. I’ll put the roasted garlic on some pizzas; usually the pepperoni or vegan pizza. I slice all the peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms fresh and sometimes I marinate them in cider vinegar. By 11 a.m., I will have four pizzas out, and by 11:30, eight out and eight in the oven. As the lunch hour winds down, I only keep

Wesleyan Named ‘Most Vegetarian-Friendly College’

Wesleyan University was named the 2009 Most Vegetarian-Friendly College in the United States by Peta2. According to the Peta2 website, “the acclaimed liberal arts college, which has a history of social justice activism, lives up to the hype when it comes to vegan options. Some of the creative choices offered include veggie chicken red curry with steamed broccolini and organic jasmine rice, three-mushroom vegan ragu with penne pasta, and barbecue seitan. Following last year’s second-place finish, Dining Services officials pulled out all of the stops in 2009, even setting up voting stations around campus to rally support from their well-fed student population. These efforts, combined with the impressive range of vegan options available on campus, have helped secure the title of the Most Vegetarian-Friendly College in America.”

Wesleyan Dining Hosts Eat Local Challenge

Sierra Bintliff '12 feeds livestock at a at a small organic farm in Standish, Maine. Bon Appétit Management Company uses food from the farm.

Sierra Bintliff '12 feeds livestock at a at a small organic farm in Standish, Maine. Bon Appétit Management Company uses food from the farm.

During the summer recess, amateur gardeners Sierra Bintliff ’12 and Nat Lichten ’09 seeded rows, weeded, irrigated, and tended fruits, vegetables and livestock at a small organic farm near St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine.

A bulk of the bounty was harvested for St. Joseph’s dining services, managed by Bon Appétit Management Company, the same business that oversees Wesleyan dining.

“I was thrilled at the opportunity to work for a company whose mission statement embodies the ideal combination of my two passions: sustainability and food,” says Bintliff, who works as a Bon Appétit catering employee at Wesleyan. “While working on the farm, I experienced the genuine enthusiasm of the Bon Appétit community for providing quality food from sustainable sources.”

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Bon Appétit will raise awareness about its commitment to supporting local agriculture by participating in the Eat Local Challenge.

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Bon Appétit will participate in the Eat Local Challenge.

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Bon Appétit will participate in the Eat Local Challenge.

Wesleyan and all other Bon Appétit-managed eateries across the country will feature a special lunch prepared completely from local ingredients from within a 150 mile radius of the café, the only exception being salt.

“The meal will take ‘farm to fork’ to the next level,” explains Michael Strumpf, Bon Appétit Resident District Manager of Wesleyan Dining. “Our chefs will create a delicious, seasonal dish that highlights Connecticut’s local bounty. Everything, every single ingredient, must be bought locally. To give you an idea of what this means, if the bread is served during this meal, the flour and yeast must have come from within 150 miles of Wesleyan.”

The Eat Local Challenge