Collegiate dining usually conjures up thoughts of boring, fattening, borderline-inedible food. But those of us who had to suffer through sad dorm room cuisine will be astonished to learn about the brand new dining concept being rolled out at The University of Houston's Moody Towers dining hall.
Tori Bergerson, executive chef of UH's dining services, won't even refer to Fresh Food Company at Moody Towers as a cafeteria. "I don't even like to use that name...it's not a cafeteria, it's a restaurant." And indeed, the video tour of Fresh Food Co. presents it much like any upscale counter-service restaurant, with chefs cooking on flat tops, passing dishes directly to students. No steam tables, no food hanging out under heat lamps for hours.
And it isn't just the look and feel of the place that's changed--the cuisine has, too. Reflecting UH's diverse student body and, by extension, the city of Houston itself, Moody Towers' dining space will feature a whole array of vegetarian options and dishes with international flair. Even more "typical" college food, like the calzone featured in the video, has been updated with sophisticated ingredients like gorgonzola.
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Bergerson also promises that his crew of chefs will be equipped and willing to accommodate student requests based on allergies and personal preference. "The whole concept is based on interaction between students and chefs," he said. Student cost for Fresh Food Co. will be a mere $6 or $8, depending on the meal being served (breakfast, lunch or dinner). The cafeteria--excuse me, restaurant--is expected to serve more than 2,500 visitors a day.