Restaurant construction signals change for UVU food service

Jeanette Blain | News Editor | [email protected]

Photo credit: Gabi Campbell | Art Director | @gabicampbellphotos

 

Construction in the atrium of the new Classroom Building will begin July 2015 for what will be the start of big changes for UVU dining services.

For the next several months, students can expect construction in that location as the space is built to accommodate new restaurants, including The Rotisserie, which will be a sit-down restaurant equipped with a brick oven, and a new location of Scoops.

Installation is expected to be finished by the end of October.

The restaurants are part of an ambitious new direction for dining services planned by director, Joaquin Menendez.

The Rotisserie, will offer a table service dining experience, something the school has so far been lacking. Its a la carte menu will largely be based on a Paleolithic diet, and will include freshly cooked pizza and tapas from the brick oven. The restaurant will take table reservations but will also have a pick-up counter.

“My intention is to provide a place where staff and executives can have business lunches, or where students can sit down with family members,” Menendez said.

Although the Culinary Arts Institute at UVU is separate from Dining Services, Menendez hopes to attract stellar culinary students to work in his restaurant. He has already begun to hire professional chefs from outside UVU, but in the future, he would like to have a mix of professional and student cooks working in the kitchen.

In addition to the new restaurants, students can expect changes in the Valley View Cafeteria which is located on the second floor of the Sorenson Center. In early 2016, the space will be redesigned to offer more cooked-to-order meals and a wider range of packaged items instead of the institutional steam-table fare.

Part of Menendez’s philosophy is to use locally sourced ingredients. He wants to build relationships with local vendors to bring in more Utah grown and raised products. He said his plan will bring healthier, fresher and more diverse dining options for students and faculty.

“I want to break the pattern of institutional food. I want to break the pattern of fast food,” Menendez said.

Recently, customers at the Valley View Cafeteria may have noticed that prices have gone up on some meal items.

Menendez said that the new prices reflect an upgrade to higher quality ingredients. Dining Services has to be economically self-sustaining because it does not receive funding from the school, but he said that all menu items will be priced fairly.

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