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					 Food Focus:
Ethnic
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               ecognizing the value of
               well-known and top-quali-
               ty brands, dining services          Mosaic, a Mediterranean concept at
at Stanford University, Calif., regularly           Stanford’s Linx residential eatery.
partners with top manufacturers to offer
students the best possible dining experi-
ence. The most recent example of that is the department’s                           The other retail location featuring Barilla pasta is il Piatto, a
selection of Barilla America as its exclusive pasta supplier.                  brand new fresh Italian concept within Union Square, a multi-
Stanford is the first university in the nation to have this part-              platform retail operation in Stanford’s Tresidder Memorial
nership with the company. The pasta is being used throughout                   Union. “That concept offers fresh, made-to-order pasta dishes,”
residential dining and at two retail concepts.                                 Andrews said. “There are six sauces along with two pastas,
    “We formed our relationship with Barilla because the com-                  including Barilla Plus. Students pick their pasta, select their
pany offers great quality pasta,” said Rafi Taherian, executive                sauce and can add things like meatballs, sausage, Caesar salad
director, Stanford Dining. “At Stanford Dining, we are always                  and other items.” Other concepts in Union Square include
preoccupied with offering well-known and high-quality prod-                    Twisted Sprout, which offers customized salads, hot and cold
ucts for our programs, and Barilla was interested in tapping into              sides and a daily carved meat entrée; Chopstix, which serves
this marketplace, so this is a natural partnership.”                           fresh, fast Asian cuisine; Brown Bag, a grab-and-go concept;
    One of the retail locations is Linx, which is located near                 and Sushi. Though primarily a retail location, residential stu-
Stanford’s medical school. “Linx features three main plat-                     dents can also use their meal plans in the facility.
forms,” noted Karen Andrews, associate director for retail and                      According to Eric Montell, senior associate director for stu-
concessions for Stanford Dining. “Mosaic is a Mediterranean                    dent dining and catering at Stanford, the change to Barilla was
concept and offers foods from countries in that region. That is                made in early January and the students immediately noticed the
the platform where we feature the Barilla pasta. The second                    difference. “It has been huge in both residential and retail,” he
platform, called Pao!, features Asian foods. Rounding out the                  said. “It is outselling anything we had before. In addition, our
offerings is Main Street, which serves traditional American                    student athletes really love the Barilla Plus product as it gives
foods.”                                                                        them a chance to have a vegetarian meal with higher protein.”
    Among the Barilla pastas served at Mosaic is Barilla Plus.                      Montell added that Barilla has been hard at work develop-
“It’s great because, although it is not a vegan item, Barilla Plus             ing recipes especially for this segment. “We’ve been working
addresses the needs of our vegetarian customers,” Andrews                      closely with Barilla for a number of months to develop recipes
said. “It has Omega 3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil, high protein and              for the non-commercial market,” he said. “Recipes have to be
high fiber, so it is really good for you. We feature that pasta in             designed completely differently for large-scale production. The
our vegetarian selections, and another pasta for our dishes that               pasta has to be cooked differently. The dishes have to be assem-
include meat.”                                                                                                                          —Continued
14 MAY 2006                                                                                                                 ON-CAMPUS HOSPITALITY
 Food Focus:
Ethnic
bled so that the sauces are still
creamy and can be delivered just in
time. To answer those questions, we
and Barilla have created a book of
recipes that should be available in
time for the National Restaurant
Association (NRA) Show.”
    The recipe book is a true
collaborative effort. “Barilla
America’s corporate chef
spent a few weeks here with
us working with our chefs,”
Montell said. “We initially
started out with around 35
different recipes, and that’s
now up to 50 using Barilla
Plus products and the rest
of the company’s offer-
ings.”
    Montell feels that
Barilla America is real-
ly dedicated to having
its products succeed in
the college and university market-
place, and that dedication is reflected in the fact
that the company moved a business conference to Stanford
during the line’s launch at the university. “The company’s
president, Kirk Trofholz, and all of the regional managers were
here,” he said. “Everyone was so excited by how this applica-
tion was working; it really was beyond their expectations.”            dining in each facility, were part of
                                                                       developing the program for each specific location,”
Ethnic Variety and Authenticity                                        Montell said. “This is part of our continuing efforts to enhance
     Stanford Dining’s introduction of Barilla pasta is just part of   our offerings and provide value to our meal-plan students.”
its continuing efforts to bring the best possible ethnic cuisine to        Taherian added that offering diverse food selections plays a
its students. On the retail side, the ethnic concepts located at       big role in preventing boredom and increasing satisfaction. “No
Linx and Union Square are joined by Olives, a Mediterranean-           matter how good the food, at some point monotony will set in
themed restaurant featuring the foods of North Africa, with an         for meal-plan students,” he said. “To break that monotony, you
emphasis on vegetarian and natural foods.                              must provide special events, special programs and, most impor-
     On the residential side, the department has introduced            tant, authentic ethnic cuisine that is similar to what might be
“Destination Dining” concepts at each of its locations. “What          enjoyed in a good restaurant.”
we have done is create ethnic and regional dining options in               According to Taherian, ethnic foods are more important
each of our dining halls,” Montell said. “The offerings for this       then ever. “If you look at what has been going on over the
program are unique to its hall. If students are interested in a par-   past 15 or so years, you are seeing so much more awareness
ticular ethnic food, they know they can go to a particular dining      about foods and food choices, and that’s also true of the stu-
room and get what they want.” Available Destination Dining             dents now arriving on campuses,” he said. “The other factor is
concepts include Southeast Asian, featuring Vietnamese, Thai           the diversity that’s seen in the student bodies at most campus-
and other cuisines from the region; a Mongolian grill, featuring       es. One way we celebrate that diversity is by offering a diver-
the dishes of Northern Asia; fresh and authentic Mexican and           sity of cuisines.”
Latin foods; Italian, including pizza and Barilla pasta; healthy           Finally, Taherian noted that offering foods from diverse
Mediterranean; and Middle Eastern cuisine.                             cultures is really a team effort at Stanford. He said that dining
     “All of these concepts create their dishes using authentic        services has reached out to ethnic students and student groups
recipes, and all are in addition to the foods in our normal five-      and collaborated with them to create menu items and special
week cycle menu, which includes even more ethnic selections,”          events. In addition, the department’s dedication to diversity is
Montell said. “That way, students have a lot of choices not only       reflected in the staff. “Diversity starts with the people in your
within each facility, but from facility to facility as well.”          organization,” Taherian said. “We have staff that comes from
     Student input played an important role in establishing the        many countries and diverse backgrounds, and that has been a
concepts that are part of Destination Dining. “We have a very          tremendous help in bringing authentic tastes and textures to
diverse student body here, and student groups, as well as those        the foods we serve.”                                        —OCH


16 MAY 2006                                                                                                      ON-CAMPUS HOSPITALITY

				
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