Tag Archive for Usdan

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 Staff Serve Students Thanksgiving Day Dinner

Wesleyan staff members served students a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner Nov. 19 in the Usdan University Center Marketplace.

Wesleyan staff members served students a Thanksgiving Day dinner Nov. 19 in the Usdan University Center Marketplace.

The turkey was served with all traditional Thanksgiving Day fixings.

The turkey was served with all traditional Thanksgiving Day fixings.

John Driscoll, alumni director in University Relations, serves up the fixings.

John Driscoll, alumni director in University Relations, prepares the plates.

Janine Lockhart, financial planner and analyst; Noel Garrett, dean for the Class of 2011 volunteer to serve the students every year.

Janine Lockhart, financial planner and analyst; Noel Garrett, dean for the Class of 2011 volunteer to serve the students every year.

Pictured in center, Valerie Marinelli, administrative assistant in the Environmental Studies Program and McNair Program, serves dinner.

Pictured in center, Valerie Marinelli, administrative assistant in the Environmental Studies Program and McNair Program, serves dinner. The event is sponsored by Wesleyan's dining service Bon Appetit and the Usdan University Center. (Photos by Stefan Weinberger '10)

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.”

WSA Hosts Student Groups Fair

The Wesleyan Student Assembly hosted the 18th annual Student Groups Fair Sept. 18 in Beckham Hall and the Huss Courtyard behind the Usdan University Center.

The Wesleyan Student Assembly hosted the 18th annual Student Groups Fair Sept. 18 in Beckham Hall and the Huss Courtyard behind the Usdan University Center.

The event allowed students to learn about student groups, discover the Usdan University Center and interact with vendors from the Middletown community. Pictured is the Asian American Student Collective booth.

The event allowed students to learn about student groups, discover the Usdan University Center and interact with vendors from the Middletown community. Pictured is the Asian American Student Collective booth.

A student seeks information on the Terpsichore Dance group. Once a semester, Terpsichore mounts a full student dance concert with the goal of including as many students as possible. Any student, regardless of previous dance experience, may either apply to choreograph or audition to dance with a high chance of being accepted into the show.

A student seeks information on the Terpsichore Dance group. Once a semester, Terpsichore presents a full student dance concert with the goal of including as many students as possible. Any student, regardless of previous dance experience, may either apply to choreograph or audition to dance with a high chance of being accepted into the show.

The Student Groups Fair also included a raffle,  tattoo and caricature artists available for souvenirs from the event. (Photos by Lauren Valentino '10)

The Student Groups Fair also included a raffle,and the work of tattoo and caricature artists. (Photos by Lauren Valentino '10)

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

Wesleyan Celebrates Alumni and Parent Donations

University Relations held a "Tuition Transition" celebration March 27 in Usdan University Center to thank alumni and parent donors for their financial support. Pictured, from left, Sarah Bell '09, Pam Vasiliou, director of the Wesleyan Fund, and Katie Borfshever '09 look over a poster on display.

University Relations held a "Tuition Transition" celebration March 27 in Usdan University Center to thank alumni and parent donors for their financial support. Pictured, from left, Sarah Bell '09, Pam Vasiliou, director of the Wesleyan Fund, and Katie Borfshever '09 looking over a poster on display.

Daniel Family Commons Dedicated

Ron Daniel '52, Hon '88, P'77, P'82 speaks during the Daniel Family Commons dedication Feb. 27 in the Usdan University Center.

Ron Daniel '52, Hon '88, P'77, P'82 speaks during the Daniel Family Commons dedication Feb. 27 in the Usdan University Center. Several members of the Daniel family attended. Noah Daniel is pictured at right.

Tours, Prizes at Usdan Open House

Peter Gilchrist '10 welcomes guests to the Usdan University Center open house Jan. 30. Attendees were given a golden passport to encourage guests to visit seven areas in the university center.

Peter Gilchrist '10 welcomes guests to the Usdan University Center open house Jan. 30. Attendees were given a golden passport to encourage guests to visit seven areas in the university center. The areas included the Cardinal Technologies Store, the University Box Office, the Wesleyan Student Assembly office, the Usdan Administrative Offices, Wesleyan Station, the Game Room and Beckham Hall.