U dining cooks up recipe contest

Students can win $50 and have their dish served at all residence dining halls.

by Kevin McCahill

Mom’s secret recipe could be the ticket to free money and a spot on next semester’s menu.

University Dining Services is inviting students to submit?their favorite recipes from home and have a chance at winning $50 and having the dishes presented for all residence hall students.

This is the first year of the contest, but already the department has received applications, said Camille Weixel, operations director of residential dining for UDS.

Students can send home specialized postcards, available at all student dining halls, asking for a favorite recipe. UDS will pay the postage to have it sent, Weixel said.

The contest is for best soup and entre items. The winner will be chosen by a dining services committee, and the winning dishes will be spotlighted on special nights next February, March and April.

“It’s a way to get students engaged and be part of the community,” said UDS operational director Karen DeVet.

Event meals are enjoyed by students and considered a “monotony-breaker” for students and staff members, DeVet said.

She said they will be looking for creative applications while still trying to find something that will please with more than 55,000 meals served each week.

“We are looking for something more home-style and having a high acceptability with other students,” she said.

So far, 15 students have filled out the cards to be sent. About 1,200 cards have been printed. Applications are accepted through Dec. 15.

Mannix Clark, associate director of housing and residential life, said the department liked the idea of a recipe contest.

“We are very supportive of anything dining services does,” he said. “We though it was a cool concept trying to bring in parents as well.”

Clark said it was a good way to create a community among the residence halls.

Many students had their idea of what culinary creations should win.

“My mom’s meatballs,” said political science first-year student Jeff Goke. “They are delicious and she only makes them at Christmas.”

Psychology first-year Kyla Steinmeyer wanted to see her mom’s potato casserole on the menu, while political science first-year Christine Lee liked something much simpler.

“I want grilled cheese on the menu every day,” she said. “It’s way cheaper and delicious.”

DeVet said the contest is one of many dining service events throughout the year. The department has partnered with local restaurants such as Sawatdee to provide an exhibition dining experience for students. Dining services also will have a holiday dinner Dec. 8.

For finals week, University faculty and staff members will work at the annual late-night breakfast event Dec. 15, the first night of finals.

From 9:30 to 11 p.m., faculty and staff members will help serve pancakes, bacon and other breakfast food, which is intended to be a “study break” for residence hall students, according to DeVet.