I Am Miami

Seventh Inning Stretch Dinner Recap

Another year, another tasty Seventh Inning Stretch Dinner! Back at Martin Dining Hall after being held at Garden Commons a year ago, our annual Seventh Inning Stretch Dinner is a fun baseball-themed special dinner, and one of our favorites to host. Featuring a menu straight from the ballpark, this year was another fun addition to this spring tradition!

Students from across campus joined us at Martin Dining Hall for a menu featuring authentic stadium fare like soft pretzels, boneless wings, mini corn dogs, mozzarella sticks, nachos, popcorn and more. There was a burger and hot dog bar (and brats), where guests could stack their stadium eats with their favorite toppings, or guests could opt for pulled pork, fresh from The Q. Items like pita chips and hummus, grilled chicken, black bean burgers and more offered tasty alternatives to the traditional ballpark staples. Of course, ice cream, cookies and cupcakes were on the menu for dessert as well!

We hope everyone enjoyed our baseball celebration, and the special menu, as much as we enjoyed hosting it! Check out our Facebook album for more photos from the dinner and keep tabs on our upcoming special events on social media (Hint: a similar menu will be served at Bell Tower very soon)!


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Baseball and Food: A Love Story

With all the crazy new food innovations happening in ballparks across America, it’s easy to wonder how it all started. Today, ballpark menus can span a wide range of flavors and types of food, but hot dogs have always been a staple of the baseball experience. While the exact origin of the hot dog itself is unclear, one of the most famous tales is that of Charles Feltman.

This butcher of German ancestry started a cart in Coney Island in 1867 from which he sold hot sausages on rolls. Soon the cart expanded into a big business. Then, according to History.com, a bread slicer at Feltman’s started his own stand in 1916, selling hot dogs for half the price. The bread-slicer’s name was Nathan Handwerker, the namesake for Nathan’s Famous hot dog brand sold in many ballparks across the country.

The earliest account of baseball and hot dogs becoming a pair tracks back to 1892 when Chris Von der Ahe began selling the treat at his ballpark in St. Louis. The peak season for hot dog consumption takes place from Memorial Day to Labor Day during which time Americans consume approximately seven billion hot dogs (yes, billion). While some of this consumption can be attributed to cookouts and other summer fun, at least 30 million hot dog sales each year can be attributed to ballpark concession stands.

As for snacks, each MLB team sells around 70,000 bags of peanuts each season. While peanuts were originally a snack of the lower class, they became a popular energy source for soldiers on both sides of the Civil War. After the war, their popularity only grew and they soon tagged along in the pockets of attendees of America’s Favorite Pastime. Discarded peanut shells quickly littered ballparks nationwide. Now, many fans can’t attend a game without a pouch of peanuts on their person.

As the song goes, “buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks,” but where did this iconic treat come from? This popcorn-based delicacy was introduced by Frederick and Louis Rueckheim at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. In 1896, the creation received it’s current name of Cracker Jack, which at the time meant something was awesome. A decade later, the baseball game favorite was included in Jack Norworth And Albert Von Tilzer’s song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. According to history.com, the first Cracker Jack box prize appeared in 1912 and more than 23 billion tiny treasures have been distributed to this day.

If you’re favorite part of any baseball game is the food, you’re in good company. Today, concessions companies compete to outdo each other with the most outrageous creations. This season, MLB fans can keep an eye out for such offerings as the “Burgerizza” which, according to theweek.com, is a 20-ounce bacon cheeseburger with two personal pizzas as the buns.

Fans of the Atlanta Braves can look forward to a “Hot Dog Sundae” while Ranger’s fans can look out for the “Sweet Spot Cotton Candy Dog” — a hot dog topped with cotton candy.

Hungry yet? Join us at Martin Dining Hall on April 12 from 5-8pm for our Seventh Inning Stretch Dinner. The menu will feature a hot dog bar, with your choice of toppings, and many more tasty food straight from the ballpark! Share your favorite with us!


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Student Employee Spotlight: Ryan Bengel

Ryan Bengel is a freshman marketing major from the Queen City (Cincinnati, OH). Among the various extracurriculars Bengel participates in on campus, Bengel is an Evans Scholar and a Miami University Wounded Warrior Project Ambassador. You’ve also probably seen him serving up delicious food at Bell Tower Place.

This week, we decided to ask him a few of the “hard-hitting” questions we love.


Q: If you could be any kitchen utensil, which kitchen utensil would you be?

A: Spongebob’s right hand man, the spatula.

Q: What is the coolest place you’ve been?

A: Bobsledding in Lake Placid, NY.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: Head of Marketing for a professional sports franchise.

Q: What is your favorite place to eat on campus?

A: Delish.

Q: What would you want to be famous for?

A: Giving dogs the ability to talk.

Q: If your life was a book, what would be the title?

A: The Comeback Kid

Q: Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

A: Tom Hanks.

Q: What is your go-to fun fact?

A: I’m faster than 80% of snakes – Dwight Schrute.

Q: To where do you most want to travel?

A: Italy.

Q: What one meal would you eat for the rest of your life?

A: Pizza.

Q: When are you happiest?

A: Listening to music.

Q: If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what song would it be?

A: “Bounce It” by Juicy J.

Q: What is your spirit animal?

A: More like spirit creature … the minions from Despicable Me.

Q: What are you currently binge-watching?

A: The Office … again.

Q: If you could be anyone dead or alive for one day who would you be?

A: Elon Musk.

Q: What would your band be named?

A: Threat Level Midnight.

Interested in joining our team? Apply for a job in dining services today at miamioh.hiretouch.com! We have a number of exciting opportunities available across campus!


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The Guide to College Kitchen Essentials

Among the many challenges of college, learning to cook or prepare food for yourself is one that tends to sneak up on people. One minute you’re living in the dorms hitting the nearby buffet, and the next minute you’re living off-campus trying to figure out what utensils or items you need to fix dinner.

While we can’t help you work through the cookbook, we can help breakdown what you will likely need in your kitchen and what each item is used for!

Spatulas

  • A metal spatula will help you flip things like eggs, pancakes and cookies while still keeping it all intact.
  • A rubber spatula will help you with heavy doughs and scraping that last heap of peanut butter out of the jar. This one is shaped like an egg so you can get the ideal image of what you’re trying to cook.

Spoons

  • A slotted spoon will help when making soups and pastas, so you can have the perfect mix between noodles, the broth/sauce and whatever else you’ve added to the dish.
  • A wooden spoon will help you stir the pot, but won’t burn your hands! Additionally, the wooden material won’t affect the taste of your dish like a metal spoon or be a melt-risk like a plastic one.

Knives

  • A chef’s knife is used for both slicing and dicing a wide variety of common ingredients that fall under the fruit, vegetable, meat or fish categories. This knife is the most important and versatile one you will own.
  • Paring knives are important because they do the job of a chef’s knife on a smaller scale. They are used for slicing and mincing smaller ingredients like strawberries and shallots.
  • A serrated bread knife is important for getting a clean, useful cut of bread. While they are mainly used for bread, serrated knives are extremely useful for safely sawing through foods with waxy surfaces like watermelons or tomatoes. Here is a great option for an entire set of knives in a great variety of colors.
  • With all these knives, you’ll also need a cutting board. A plastic cutting board is cheap and safe and won’t dull your knives out like a glass one. Cutting boards protect both knives and counters and make it easier to transport prepared ingredients to the next destination. This set of plastic cutting boards are pre-marked with the type of ingredient you should be preparing on each mat.

Utensil Drawer

  • A Y-shaped vegetable peeler does the same job as a regular vegetable peeler, but more. It can peel, not only your basic carrot or cucumber, but also harder-to-peel foods like mangoes and different kinds of squash.
  • A can opener might not be the first thing that comes to mind for a college kitchen, but when you need a quick meal, a can opener will make it easier to whip up some black beans, a pre-made soup, or any other canned food item.
  • Locking tongs will toss a salad, flip meat that is cooking on the grill or in a pan, and make it easier and safer to saute vegetables. These tongs can really lend you a hand … because they’re shaped like them.
  • An instant read thermometer is important if you plan on cooking any meats or fish. If meat or fish is not brought to the appropriate temperature, you can run the risk of foodborne illnesses such as salmonella.
  • It is important to have measuring cups for both wet and dry ingredients. Especially when baking, being able to measure out how much of each ingredient you are using is certainly useful. These measuring cups are shaped like fish so your baking will go swimmingly.
  • Measuring spoons are good for spices and ingredients that will always be used in smaller amounts. Try finding ones that fit in the spice containers you typically use.
  • A whisk is important for a variety of processes in baking, but also for making delicious, fluffy eggs in the morning.

Other Important Items

  • A salad spinner will remove excess water out of lettuce, pasta and fruits! It is really useful for making sure your produce is fresh and clean. Salad spinners can also be used for a variety of less conventional things like washing clothes!
  • A wire mesh colander is necessary for draining the excessive water out of a cooked pot of pasta. One with handles or legs will hold the colander up so that the noodles aren’t sitting in their own water at the bottom of the sink (yuck).
  • A rimmed baking sheet is especially useful for creating one-pan meals like the one in this blog post. It will also help prevent any spillage of cookies off the pan!
  • A skillet is necessary for sauteeing veggies, making an egg scramble and a variety of other recipes.

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Staff Spotlight: Christopher Pioske

As a music education major, a career in food service wasn’t on Christopher Pioske’s radar as a student at Miami University. After graduation though, Pioske joined Miami’s dining services as his wife finished up her degree and found more than a temporary job. Now a general manager at Armstrong Student Center, Pioske says he has found a career at Miami in dining services.

“To be honest, I never worked in food service when I was in school here. I did a little cooking at home, but when I started here, it was just a job,” said Pioske. “I came in here thinking it was just something temporary, but then I found I really enjoyed cooking and really enjoyed being involved with the university. It just kind of evolved into a career.”

Pioske began working in dining service at Bell Tower Place as a food service worker. He worked his way up to a manager position there before heading to the Middletown campus to run its food service operation for a short time. He was offered – and accepted – an interim general dining manager position at Armstrong and took the position officially in January 2016.

“When I was in school, a lot of my best experiences revolved around eating and dining halls,” said Pioske. “I had great experiences in the dining halls, and I want to do what I can to continue to provide those experiences for students today.”

As general dining manager, Pioske oversees the full-time and student-staff across Armstrong’s eight dining venues. He ensures lines are moving as smoothly as possible, checks in with staff and guests and monitors the business of one of the busiest halls on campus. Overwhelming for some, the bustling nature of Armstrong is one of the things Pioske finds most exciting.

“It’s definitely never boring. Everyday is a completely new challenge. You might be short help one day, or maybe you’re going to have extra groups, which are going to increase your guest numbers, so it’s challenging that way,” said Pioske. “I really enjoy the variety that comes day-to-day and meeting those challenges, along with my team, to give students the best experience we can.”

While Pioske finds the challenges throughout the day to be the most exciting part of his job, his favorite part of the job is the sense of community that comes with working in dining. Whether working on the Middletown campus with student-employees or on main campus with a mix of full-time and student-workers, Pioske has always felt a togetherness and genuine interest in the well-being of others.

“I hate to call it a sense of family, but it kind of is like family,” said Pioske. “Everybody feels responsible for each other and they care for the well-being of one another. I think it’s neat that no matter where you go, no matter how much you might argue with somebody, you know that at the end of the day they care about what happens to you. I think that’s a very special thing that we have as a department.”

For Pioske, an important part of providing the best experience for students is building those relationships, not only with his team, but with the guests who pass through Armstrong.

“It ensures we are able to provide the best service possible. To have that relationship with your employees means that they’re going to go above and beyond to make your guests happy and will do that extra little bit to get through the rush,” said Pioske. “And for our guests, hearing feedback can give us some fulfillment in knowing that we are meeting their needs or can provide an opportunity for us to improve their experience.”

When he isn’t working, Pioske spends most of his time playing with his two young children. With one almost two years old and the other four, he enjoys taking them places to experience new things. He also enjoys games, crosswords and reading in his free time. Anything that makes his brain work.

As a college student, Pioske never expected to find a career in food service. After finding a career in dining at Miami, he thinks it’s interesting to look back at how a music education major became a general dining manager at Armstrong Student Center.

“It just goes to show that no matter what direction you think you’re going to take, sometimes you find something else as you’re going along,” said Pioske. “You never know who is on the other side of that counter or where they come from.”


The Hard Questions

Favorite dish to prepare? To eat?

Prepare – I like to bake. I bake all sorts of things, but I probably like baking cookies the most.

Eat – I really like seafood. Seafood and pasta. I don’t think you can go wrong with some shrimp or something in pasta.

What’s your least favorite food?

Raw carrots.

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?

Probably how to clean a variety of stains out of things. It’s two small children. They take food, they take drink, they take everything, and it’s always everywhere.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Let’s just stick with my pasta. How about we just start out with a nice caprese salad. Maybe some cantaloupe with prosciutto. Something light for an appetizer. Then we’ll have some shrimp scampi. For dessert … what would I have for dessert? Cheesecake.

When are you happiest?

I’m happiest when I’m spending time with my family.

What is the title and genre of the book about your life?

I’m going to go with fantasy adventure for the genre. It’s about the journey, the experiences and overcoming challenges. I don’t have a good name for one though.

What do you want to be famous for?

I think I would want to be famous for something like discovering the cure for something or finding something that benefits mankind.

If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?

I would probably take my crosswords, for one. Oh, is there power? Is there internet on the island? That would probably be a thing then. I would take my internet. I don’t know … I try to avoid ending up on islands. And I’m just going to be practical and say sunscreen. Sounds like a good way to hangout.

Cat or dog? I own cats, but I prefer dogs.

Cake or pie? Pie. That’s an easy one.


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Tasty Ways to Top Toast

It seems like every month there is a new trend in toast, so we weeded out the good and the … not so good to bring you a list of some of our favorite ways to eat toast! Try them all and tell us your favorite, but don’t just butter us up — we really want to know!

Ricotta

My personal favorite way to eat toast is to top a slightly browned slice of sourdough with ricotta and lox (with a piping hot cup of coffee on the side, of course!). This recipe is super easy and is pretty much a more gourmet version of a bagel.

If you’re looking for something a little more sweet, you could top a piece of ricotta toast with a fruit like figs, strawberries or blackberries. Some other savory options include a caprese toast with ricotta, basil, and tomato slices (preferably from a grape tomato) with a balsamic drizzle or toast topped with ricotta, beets and arugula. You can find even more ricotta toast options here.

Avocado

Most people have at least heard of avocado toast, but have you tried it? While it might feel a little “extra” to mash up a ripe Haas, it is most definitely worth it. Give your avo-toast a little mediterranean zest with lemon juice, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, a hard-cooked egg, and a drizzle of tahini.

For a fresh, simple taste, top your toast with avocado, arugula and lemon juice. For an afternoon avocado-filled adventure, you could barbeque some shrimp and toss it atop a bed of avocado toast and spray with lime juice. You could even add feta cheese crumbles and scallions to your classic avocado toast or find more recipes here! Avocado toast is versatile meaning you can add pretty much whatever you’d like!

Greek Yogurt

Bread topped with … yogurt? Heck yes! Put down the smoothie bowl and pick up a butter knife to spread your smoothie onto a piece of toast! Top toasted bread with greek yogurt, chia seeds and fresh fruit for a healthy twist on two breakfast classics. You could use any flavor of greek yogurt and any type of fruit.

Try strawberry greek yogurt with cocoa nibs for a chocolate-covered strawberry toast. Or add a chocolatey-styled greek yogurt to toast and drizzle with caramel sauce for a sweet breakfast treat.

Hummus

Top toast with hummus for a protein punch! You can add any veggie to hummus toast, but we love to add roasted asparagus, asiago cheese, and fresh lemon juice. For a refreshing treat, add cucumber and cracked pepper to your hummus toast. You could also top toast with both hummus and avocado (in slices) for a protein double whammy. Add radishes, arugula and pepper to that for a little bit of bite. If you’ve never tried microgreens, you definitely should. This delicious, fresh produce packs a healthy punch in a tiny package. Add them to your hummus toast along with feta cheese for a delicious snack anytime of day. You could also add roasted kale and your favorite spice!

Tag us in your artsy food pictures and share your favorite recipe!


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Talking National Nutrition Month with Chef Mary Johnson

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 Mary Johnson.

Chef Johnson is an executive chef, overseeing hot production, grade manger and the bakery at the Demske Culinary Support Center, where all centralized production for campus takes place. Gingerbread houses and fruit carvings are her hobby.


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

I am from Louisiana and have a passion for cooking and renovating. I am a mother of seven and after having the privilege of being a stay at home mom for 32 years, I returned to school and graduated from Cincinnati State with a culinary degree. I’ve been with Miami University for 11 years.

My experience at Miami has been challenging, rewarding, and fulfilling. I began as a senior cook, was quickly promoted to food production leader, and then chef. I am now an executive chef. I have worked in dining halls, restaurants, and hot production at the Demske Culinary Support Center (DCSC).

Gingerbread houses and fruit carvings are my hobby. I have recreated, in gingerbread, many of the buildings on campus including Lewis Place, McGuffey, Old Main, Upham Hall, and more. I have done many fruit carvings for different events at the president’s home, dining halls, and NACUF’s competitions.

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 am the executive chef at DCSC. Currently my responsibilities include oversight of hot production, garde manger and the bakery at DCSC, where all centralized production for campus takes place. My day-to-day duties include monitoring all activity between the three units, handling issues that develop during the day, notifying the units if products will be late, if substitutions will be made, and clarifying any discrepancies in orders. My most important role is to make sure all our customers get quality products, correctly, and on time. If at any time this does not happen, it is my responsibility to make the necessary corrections are made with as little inconvenience to the customer as possible.

I have input into menu choices, setting rotations for hot production’s soups and sauces, garde manger’s Uncle Phil’s Express items, and the desserts and pastries from the bakery. I also consult with different staff on event menus, providing information as to what my departments can provide. The bakery provides all the cakes, cookies, and specialty items for the “Me to You” program, and provides input on holiday promotions as well.

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 think “Put Your Best Fork Forward” means that every bite counts and that taking small steps to changing our eating habits can be positive steps to, hopefully, lifetime changes. I think the key to success is finding a variety of healthy foods you enjoy. It is easy when you love what you eat. The MyPlate guidelines suggest half your plate should be filled with vegetables and fruits (adding slightly more veggies than fruits) and the other half should be filled with grains and proteins. Of course, color is key, so include a colorful mix and you will get plenty of nutrients. Oh, and don’t forget your dairy. A glass or low fat or skim milk is a great choice.

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

I think they can opt for healthy options offered by our dining services. Healthy options are a must on Miami’s menu. We work hard to give our students quality food. We give student access to ingredient and nutritional information and want to help them make informed, intelligent decisions. Healthy grab-and-go items are readily available if students are pressed for time. They should make a conscious, concerted effort to find healthy food they like, follow the MyPlate guidelines, make it colorful and it will be easy for them to “put their best fork forward.”


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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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Talking National Nutrition Month with Chef Casey Johnson

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 Casey Johnson.

Chef Johnson is an executive chef at Miami University, overseeing Armstrong Student Center, Bell Tower Place and King Cafe. Chef Johnson, originally from Ohio, went to culinary school in New York, interned in West Virginia and found his way back to Ohio before taking his current position with Miami University’s dining services.


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

My name is Casey Johnson. I’m originally from Toledo, OH and have lived in both New York and West Virginia for some time. I attended college at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and, while in school, I did my internship with the Greenbrier Hotel & Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV.

After graduation I participated in the M.I.T program where I was a teaching assistant/sous chef at The Caterina de’ Medici restaurant on campus for Chef Alberto Vanoli for a year. Once I completed the M.I.T program, my wife and I decided to move back to Ohio for her to attend school, while living in Toledo. I worked in a couple different Italian restaurants and finally became sous chef for a local restaurant, Mancy’s Italian Grill.

From there I moved into a food & beverage director position for Hilton Garden Inn where I was one of the opening managers for their Findlay, OH property. During that time, my wife was accepted into the graduate program here at Miami University, so we moved south and I ended up getting one of the executive chef positions here at the university.

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 responsible for overseeing the management of Armstrong Student Center, Bell Tower Place, and King Cafe. That includes the day-to-day needs of each property, recipe management, proper food safety, and concept development. The chefs on campus are here to back up and assist the front line staff members. We obviously do a lot of the planning and technical recipe work, but the front line staff plays the biggest role in our dining service department on campus.

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?

“Put Your Best for Forward,” to me, kind of summarizes what I had already planned for my year. Between the birth of my daughter at the end of 2015 and me turning 30 this year, I’ve decided to make healthier choices in my own life. I’d like to make the next decade of my life the healthiest one I’ve had thus far.

I’m a huge believer and advocate for the Farm-to-Table movement. I feel this movement can really help increase the healthier options on our plates. Eating whole, unprocessed food, and as locally as possible, is always going to be the best choice when trying to make a healthier choice. I believe this quote from Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food sums up my belief on healthy food, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

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

I believe that if the younger generation helps to continue this Farm-to-Table movement by supporting local farmers markets and making seasonally, local choices, the demand for these product will increase, as will supply (hopefully). This will help make these whole, unprocessed foods more readily available, allowing more Americans to eat healthy at a lower cost.

The students here at Miami and at every university really do have the power to change something as long as they pay attention to the choices they make in their food. “Putting Their Best Fork Forward” is not only good for their health but the health of this planet.


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Talking National Nutrition Month with Chef Kiril Gallovitch

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 Kiril Gallovitch.

Chef Gallovitch is Miami University’s corporate executive chef, overseeing the culinary side of dining operations, including the planning of menus, production and more. Chef Gallovitch, a native of Bulgaria with classical European culinary training, has many years of experience working in different kitchens with different chefs throughout his professional career.


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

I have been a chef for the last 20 years. I have extensive experience working with different chefs from all over the world. I started my career working for Sheraton Hotels in Europe. I also worked in a major strip resort in Las Vegas for 12 years. I’ve also been an executive chef of an upscale steakhouse, district chef for a large university for 10 years, and a regional chef for a company responsible for running events around the country and Canada.

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 am the corporate executive chef of Miami University. I am responsible for all of the dining facilities, chefs, Catering, and Concessions. My job is to oversee the operations, and provide guidance, planning menus, production, and special events.

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?

To eat healthy starts with the choice of ingredients for the recipes. Focusing on things likes high quality ingredients, freshness, and local sourcing can greatly improve the nutrition content of the foods we consume. Balanced diet greatly depends on the choices each individual makes and making small changes to your diet can add up over time. Choosing the right nutrient-rich food can greatly improve our health and energy levels during our daily activities.

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

My suggestions for a healthy diet would be eating more of the following foods: vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy, whole grain foods, lean meats, legumes, and using high quality oils while preparing your food.


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