From C-MO Jan 11, 2011

By: Craig Munhall, Executive Chef

Today was a busy day.  Whew!  We got a bunch of things done today so it was good.  All day we waited for the snow to start falling.  I’d walk through the kitchen and I’d hear “not yet”  or “check the forecast again” . It didn’t start until later on this afternoon and now it looks like we’ll have a bunch of closings tomorrow.
Kelvin made a great lunch today, I heard a lot of positive feedback.  Breakfast and dinner were both well received.  Remember to use the comment cards at the exit of the dining hall to leave feedback.  Any feedback is good.  Just write down “Have this again” or “never have this again” that works.
We put together a theme meal for Thursday that should be quite cool.  We’re going to do all French food.  We will do our best to bring out the flavors and traditions of France.  Of Course we will have ratatouille! And Coq Au Vin! We’re going to make the ratatouille like they did in the movie…with a mandolin, how cool is that?
Today we got started with our composting program for the semester.   We brought all the pulp from the weekend down to the Earth Tub.  If it hasn’t already been mentioned or you haven’t heard, we compost all pre and post consumer waste.  We have this really cool pulper that grinds the scraps of food from the kitchen and the leftovers on your plate in the dining hall.  It looks like your typical garbage disposal but it’s connected to a device that spins water out of the mix and then pushes the pulp out a shoot.  We collect that stuff and bring it down to the Earth Tub- which is a HUGE composter…of which the school has TWO!  The resulting mulch is used on campus and in the community garden. We’re proud to be a part of this system.  When I am part of being sustainable I feel like I’m creating good karma, and it makes me want to do more.  Speaking of which, I had a conversation with a student named Anna this evening and we were talking about living sustainable.   I told her that I had watched the movie “The 11th Hour”, she hadn’t seen it, if you haven’t either, I recommend it for those interested in the environment.  Anyway, as I was driving home I thought about our conversation and what I was doing at home that was sustainable.   I came up with a few things – we use a set-back thermostat that conserves energy, we use those fluorescent bulbs that replace regular bulbs both inside and outside the house, we have one of those water filters on the faucet so we do not buy any bottled water, and I recycle.  We also control water usage when brushing teeth, etc.  These measures not only help with my carbon footprint but also on the wallet!  Being sustainable at the home is like multi-tasking!
I was wondering do you have a favorite dish?  I think it would be cool to put some of your favorites on the menu – let me know.  We are making a dish for brunch on Sunday called Hamburger Hash, it was a request from Peter, a student, he also provided the recipe.  If it’s good then let ME know….if it’s bad, let HIM know! HA!! Good Times!
One last note – We have a BUNCH of local produce coming in tomorrow.  Even though it’s winter we can still get North Carolina tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes, turnips, beets, sprouts, and parsnips.  Look for them on the salad bar and as your veggies.  I’m going to be ordering a bunch of greens next, all local!


By: Craig Munhall, Executive Chef
What’s “C-MO”?  It’s me!  Craig Munhall (aka C-MO) and as of October I have been the Executive Chef here at Guilford Dining.   I’ve been at Guilford since 2008, mostly handling catering and being a part of overall management.  This new role is allowing me to express my passion for food.  I love food! You wouldn’t know it because I’m paper thin (NOT!).  Truthfully, one look at me and you’d say – “this guy loves food!” and that’s okay.  Too bad I’m not as driven to work out!

In addition to having fun with food, I’m going to be having a little fun with this blog, sharing what’s happening with food and what we’re doing in and around dining.  I want it to be fun and informative, and helps me relate more with everyone at Guilford.  But you’ll let me know if any of that’s working, right?  I’m so grateful to be here, Guilford has the best faculty and staff I’ve worked with and the best students.  You guys make my day.

Feedback is very important to me, everything from the comment cards in the dining hall to “likes” on our facebook page, I love it.  It has been said that “feedback is the breakfast of champions” and I believe it.  So going forward I invite everyone to communicate with me or the other dining staff any of your likes, dislikes, and suggestions.

We have a lot planned for this coming semester.  We’re going to start with a French themed meal on the 13th and there are many more theme meals to come.  We’ve made changes to our Pizza menu and soon you’ll be able to order pizzas online!  Please take advantage of our delivery service, stay warm and let us brave the cold! We’ll be holding our first food committee meeting of the semester on Jan 31st and we’re going to be holding a raffle for attendance, details to come.  And lots of stuff will be happening on facebook – more coupons for pizza for starters.

I’m keeping it short, but want you to know we’re here in the kitchen getting ready for your return.  It’s too quiet! Montese is blasting Maxwell out of this beat-up boom box as she’s making a cheese dip for a catering event.  Four fresh cheeses:  mozzarella, sharp cheddar, Swiss, and provolone = delicious!  Ann is here making dressings for tomorrow: our house, balsamic vinaigrette, and the ever popular ranch.  I’m working on the staff schedule for next week.  What’s missing is serving lunch to 500 plus people!  So travel safely and we’ll see you soon!

RD or Nutritionist: What's in a Name?

January 04, 2011
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian

Happy New Year!  Tis the season for new resolutions. If you happen to turn on any news show, you will likely hear a nutrition “professional” dispensing advice about your health for the New Year.  As a nutrition professional, it is easy for me to dismiss claims that are not backed by science, but for the general population all this conflicting advice only adds to the confusion.

Factory Farms…Yuk.

By: Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

Factory farms dot the landscape throughout the United States. Some argue that we need to farm in this fashion to feed the billions of people in the world. I understand the concept behind this argument, but wonder at what cost are we churning out more and more poor quality meat/food in the name of combating hunger?

Factory farms are proven to be devastating to the environment. The pig farms of eastern Virginia and North Carolina have been in the news a good deal the past few years because of the havoc they’ve wreaked on the wetlands along the east coast, due mostly to vast pools of animal waste. There is also substantial data to support the theory that cattle create more methane gas emissions than the entire US transportation system. Methane gas is one of the leading contributors to global warming.
Factory farms are also a breeding ground for bacteria. The animals of factory farms live in their own waste. They are in horribly crowded conditions. These factors alone create an atmosphere much more likely to pass on the potential for food borne illness such as E.Coli & Salmonella. The recent egg recall of 2010 is a perfect example.

Then there’s the ethical questions surrounding factory farms. Factory farms are notorious for cruelty, abuse and neglect. In my opinion, they are the method of choice primarily to make money for the meat/cattle industry. Organic and pasture-raised cattle farms prove that animals can have quality of life before making the ultimate sacrifice so that we can eat. I know it costs more to raise animals this way, but I for one would much rather pay for meat raised in a humane, sustainable, healthy manner than be able to go to my local drive through and pay less than $1 for a burger.

Let’s talk a little about that $1 burger. With the growing obesity epidemic, I wonder about a society that places so much value in a food system that supports and promotes lots of cheap, fatty, high calorie food. The hamburger might only cost $1 at the time of consumption, but how much does it actually cost in terms of health care costs, lost work time, environmental clean-up, food recalls, global warming, etc?

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Dear Anthony

December 07, 2010
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

I came across this article on Anthony Bourdain while looking at foodie blogs on one of my favorite websites, writersnreaders. I, too, have a somewhat love/hate relationship with Bourdain…I love his passion for and knowledge of food, but sometimes find his unyielding arrogance against all that do not agree with his viewpoint and philosophy to be overbearing…or distasteful…pun intended.  Thank you Arya, author of “Taking Snarky to New Heights.”  You are definitely not alone!  But, Anthony…you know I love you…just not all the time.

Picture courtesy of WNYC New York Public Radio. Cropped and edited by Daniel Case


Kick The Cookies Up a Notch

December 07, 2010
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian

I initially thought I would write about “holiday nutrition survival tips” however, Leslie beat me to it in Lighting Up The Season!  Given that it’s also the season to be somewhat indulgent, my topic shifted to baking.
I love making cookies and what better excuse to bake some than Christmas?!  This past Sunday I had the opportunity to decorate cookies till my heart was content at Sweet Violet Cake Company (formerly Culina).  I attended the Holiday Cooking & Decorating Workshop, and though I was clearly out of my league, it inspired me to take my holiday baking to a new level.  In fact, I informed my husband that our annual cookie decorating activity is going to be kicked up a notch this year.   One of my favorite holiday traditions is spending an evening decorating sugar cookies with my husband. In the past it has involved bowls of colored frosting, butter knives and toothpicks.  This year it will include pastry bags (!), edible glitter, squeeze bottles and of course a cup of hot cocoa!  I’m thinking they’d look perfect on this cool (southern style!) farmbasket cookie plate.
For a great cookie base, try Cece’s Cookies…yum.

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Local Offerings November 30th

North Carolina’s diverse climates continue to provide us with beautiful local produce from the mountains to the coast. Hot items this week are Rainbow Kale from the Goat Lady farm, and Hydroponic Spinach from Flora Ridge Farm.


Reynolda Farm Market:
Red Potatoes
Red Delicious Apples
Sweet Potatoes
Acorn Squash
Spaghetti Squash
Bean Sprouts
Hydroponic Spinach
Collard Greens

Eastern Carolina Organics:
Red Leaf Lettuce
Cherry and Grape Tomatoes
Rainbow Chard

Goat Lady Vegetable Farm:
Head Lettuce
Parsley, Dill

Chicken – Hopkins Poultry
Sausage – Neese’s Country Sausage
Flour Grits, and Cornmeal – Booneville Flour and Feed
Heavy Cream, Half and Half, Whole Milk – Homeland Creamery

My Thanksgiving

November 22, 2010
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Just thinking about it brings about fond memories of warmth, comfort and time spent together with family & friends.  My family has enjoyed the same food traditions for as long as I can remember, and my hope is that my niece will continue them with her family.  
Growing up, we always roasted a whole bird-the bigger the better. It was a source of pride (and, I think, bragging rights) for mom to be roasting the biggest bird of all our friends & relatives.  The smallest bird she would consider roasting (also known in the family as a pigeon) was 20 lbs. We now do a turkey breast, and while it’s much more appropriate, it just seems to lack the ‘wow’ factor of that beautifully golden brown turkey.

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