Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Summer Thoughts

This is the time of year that can be restful and challenging at the same time… As finals are ending and commencement is fast approaching, we are transitioning to our summer conference programs. Certainly the volume drops to half of standard volume and labor costs tend to be higher, but we should be taking this opportunity to develop the next generation of food and menus while continuing to personally develop.

So what is the Rice dining team thinking of? I often like to have brain-storming and star-bursting sessions to come up with ideas and programs and we did this yesterday. Here are some of the projects we are going to address: Food Miles Map, Starting a Farm, Nutrition Website, Opening Baker kitchen, Food and menu Labeling, New Ingredients, New Recipes, Marketing the “Owl-Spice”, Creating a Formal Cookbook, Teach a Class, and Hold Forums to educate students.

Rice University Dining has already addressed issues with health and nutrition by eliminating heavy cream and reducing salt usage by 70%, but the page has to be turned to educate students that what is consumed now will be carried for a lifetime. You will be less invincible in your late 30s than you are now at 25. This will be our primary focus for the next academic year while using the summer time to develop this dialogue. Have a great summer and continue to innovate so that we are leaders and not followers in our industry. That’s the mission!


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