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UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 10 | Oct. 2, 2003

New Food for Thought

Cuisine goes “haute” at Place Vanier

By Brian Lin

Students returning to Place Vanier residence this fall were greeted by a pleasant surprise sure to whet their appetites. UBC Food Services unveiled a newly renovated cafeteria last month, revealing a cozy and elegant space filled with aromas of both hearty and exotic cuisine.

“It’s campus cafeteria meets Milestones,” says Food Services director Andrew Parr, who supervised the first renovation to the cafeteria in more than 25 years. “There’s a strong movement in North America towards gourmet-style residence dining and we are aiming to position ourselves ahead of the curve.

“The response from both parents and students has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The new cafeteria, complete with wall-to-wall scenic windows and twin fireplaces, offers students, faculty and staff a variety of choices from cook-to-order pastas and ethnic gourmet to grab-and-go sandwiches.

“Integrating packaged food with individual gourmet stations speeds up the serving process,” says residence chef Steve Golob. “The other day 250 people came through at lunch time, and we were able to serve everyone within 18 minutes.”

“Everything is prepared fresh daily,” says Piyush Sahay, who brings more than 15 years of experience in restaurant management to his new role as executive chef. “But students can decide whether they want to have a sit-down meal or pick up something quickly on their way to class.”

Sahay, who joined UBC this summer, has worked in resorts and hotels in France, Bombay, South Africa and Mombasa. He spent seven years at Vancouver International Airport supervising the catering of more than 5,000 meals a day for Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines.

Food Services also launched its new brand, ThinkFood, with brightly colour-coded packaging and gourmet fast food, available at all Food Services outlets on campus. Favourites like potato salad and chicken wraps now sit side-by-side with exotic palate-teasers like Cuban grilled chicken ciabatta and Thai beef wrap.

“We’re also improving the quality and consistency of our packaged foods by introducing a commissary chef to the graveyard shift for the first time,” says Parr. “And the selections will continue to grow according to feedback from students, faculty and staff.”

Both Place Vanier and Totem Residence dining rooms are open seven days a week (including holidays) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The dining rooms are open to all students, faculty and staff. For menus, visit www.foodserv.ubc.ca.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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