Talking National Nutrition Month with Chef Scott Rouse

March is National Nutrition Month, which is a nutrition education and information campaign, focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

So, we reached out to some of our talented and experienced chefs and asked them to share their advice for making healthy food choices this month and beyond. Today’s chef is Chef Scott Rouse.

Chef Rouse is an executive chef at Miami University with over 30 years of experience in food service. Chef Rouse is over Garden Commons, Martin Dining Hall and Dividends, in addition to the Middletown and Hamilton campuses, helping plan and execute Miami’s dining services.

Q: Tell me a little about yourself and your background in dining.

I’ve been in food service for 30 years. I’ve done many different types of food service. (i.e. Hotels, Fine dining, Senior living, Contract Food Service, Colleges, office buildings, and Free Standing Restaurants.) I’m a graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in May of 1991 and I love Creole & Cajun food.

Q: Tell me what you do here at Miami, the different tasks you are responsible for and what role you play in our dining services as a whole.

I’m one of the executive chefs here on campus. I’m over Garden Commons, Martin Dining Hall, Dividends, the Middletown campus and the Hamilton campus. I help plan and execute many different aspects of dining, from special dinners to limited time offers, to the regular four-week menu rotations. I oversee daily production of menu items and assist where needed; anything from covering for someone on their break in the production kitchen to stir-frying in the Asian concept Zen.

Q: The theme for National Nutrition Month this year is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” to emphasize that each of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices. What does this theme mean to you and in what ways do you believe people can make healthy changes to their diets during National Nutrition Month and beyond?

I believe people can make healthy food choices at any time, not just during National Nutrition Month. We always have healthy options available from baked fish to roasted vegetables to grilled skinless chicken breast. Not to mention all of the tasty vegan and vegetarian offerings. The hard part is sticking to those choices long-term to actually change your eating habits. I know this is much easier said than done. Believe me, I love a good cheeseburger just as much as the next person.

Q: In what ways do you think students at Miami can “Put their best fork forward”?

Neale Donald Walsch said “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” and I couldn’t agree more. Try something new. Maybe try the three sisters stew or the roasted cauliflower or some other dish you haven’t tried. Vegan, vegetarian or otherwise. Even if it’s just a bite of something new. You may just find your new favorite dish.

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