Wednesday, March 23, 2016

4th Annual Campus Cook-Off

Olivia Garrido - student competitor

Each spring Utah State University’s University Catering presents a Campus Cook-Off event open to all members of the campus community. This year was the 4th annual cook-off and it featured main dish recipes.

Held Tuesday, March 1, in The Hub, three student contestants showcased their “amazing” main dish recipes and were judged by a panel of judges and fellow students. Each student contestant had 10 to 15 minutes to present their dish.

Jake Von Wagoner went first with his Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cole Slaw

Second was Olivia Garrido who featured her Korean Rice Bowl

Finally, Aditya Chauhan presented third with his Andaa (Egg) Curry with Basmati Rice.

Each contestant created 100 samples and three judges’ plates. Fifty samples of the recipe were given to the crowd to be judged for people’s choice. Catering servers randomly selected from the crowd those who wanted to participate in the people’s choice judging. Each participant tasted the samples and then put a token in a box of their favorite contestant and dish, “voting” for the win. The other 50 samples were put out for the crowd to enjoy while the contestants presented their dishes.

Peoples Choice

Left to Right: Josh Cottrell (Utah State Dining Services), Sara Riggs (Utah State Dining Services), and Rachael Fresh (USU/SA Student Alumni Association President)

After tallying the people’s choice tokens and the judges collaboration, the winners of the 4th Annual Campus Cook-off were: People’s Choice: Jake Von Wagoner, who won a plaque and a 10 Block Meal Plan; Judge’s Choice: Aditya Chauhan, who won a plaque and a 25 Block Meal Plan; and Runner Up: Olivia Garrido, who won a 2 Block Meal Plan.
Left to Right: Jeff Woolley (University Catering General Manager/Executive Chef), Olivia Garrido, Aditya Chauhan, and Jake Von Wagoner

University Catering thanks all who entered recipes and participated to make this event go well!

until next time...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Multi-Cultural Events

Hello there!
It has been far too long since shared what University Catering has been doing! We have had some exciting changes in our Sales Team with the addition of 3 babies! With maternity leaves now over we can get back on track!!

Each year University Catering takes part in helping the multi-cultural and international student groups create menus for their events. Each group shares their culture with the campus through an evening event which at most times turns into a party!

This past month I was able to be part of Chinese New Year and Dominican Independence Day also known as Areito!


Until next time...

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Conference for Event Planners and Caterers

On March 7th, 2015 Amy and I embarked on our annual trip to Vegas to participate in the Catersource Conference and Tradeshow that was held at Caesars Palace this year. As we arrived at our hotel room we were able to take a moment and map out which seminars and vendors we wanted to go to.
Our view of Las Vegas from our Hotel Room

From Developing Successful Caterer/Vendor Relationships to the hottest trends of the year our minds were greatly expanded with ideas to take University Catering to the next level.

Here a just a couple of the seminars I went to that impacted my goals and ideas for catering:

As customer service is my highest priority Anthony Lambatos (CEO of Footers Catering in Denver Colorado) seminar on Turning Lemons into Lemonade made me review how I can turn a client into an advocate for University Catering. We want to be prepared, have a system for coordinators, know the do's and don'ts of client interaction, understand value is relative when handling hard clients, and prevent by doing what we do best.

Another aspect of my job with University Catering is being the Graphic Designer. With that I am always looking for ways to improve our brands image and how to do that through photography has been one of my struggles. With that being another focus of mine, Denise Vivaldos seminar on Making Food Photos Mouthwatering I was able to get the following key points that will be integrated into what we currently do with our photos:
1. Under cook your items
2. Have an extra of what you are shooting
3. Prep meticulously
4. Design a plate
5. Create elevation and movement
6. Plan on garnishes
7. Cold vs. Hot
8. Natural light
9. Study food photos you like and create something similar
10. Less is more 

After two great days of seminars we also enjoyed the trade show and all the vendors that sparked our minds with products that University Catering can use!
Now onto implementing our ideas!!