Lilly Frawley works at Market Square once a week, but she isn’t an employee with Dining Services. She is a nutrition student in a class called Quantity Foods.
With the construction of Market Square, nutritional sciences students enrolled in the class have a brand new facility in which to learn the tricks of the trade.
“Our hope and our plan was to use Expeditions as part of the class,” said Legia Abato, marketing manager of Dining Services said.
The course, which is only available to nutritional sciences majors, is in its third year of existence, she said.
“On Tuesdays and Thursdays they (students) are broken up into groups, and they actually work in either our bakery, production, cold prep or receiving,” Abato said. “They go through the entire food service realm so they understand what happens to food from the time it hits the back dock to when it hits the front lines and is being served.”
The Department of Nutritional Sciences works hand-in-hand with Sodexo, the company in charge of Dining Services on campus, to give students the resources they need to take the course, said Rebecca Dority, a nutritional sciences instructor who teaches the course.
Abato said that in addition to the lab time, students have learned to make truffles, Cajun food and garnishes from guest chefs Sodexo brings in.
Frawley, a junior nutrition major in the coordinated program in dietetics, said her time spent in Market Square gives her valuable experience.
“I love the class,” she said. “It’s given a lot of behind-the-scenes looks at what goes on in a big kitchen like that. I don’t think a lot of people realize what goes into intense food production. It puts a new perspective on food that comes from Market Square.”
Dority said the new facilities at Market Square add a new dimension to the class.
“They’re basically going in and learning from a first-class facility because everything’s new, everything’s been modernized and everything’s updated,” she said. “They’re literally getting to learn with all of the latest information and learn with all of the latest equipment.”
In addition, the class prepares students for real-world situations that deal with the food service industry, Dority said.
“They’re learning the basics of quantity food productions,” she said. “In other words, how to cook and prepare menus and budgets and everything that goes into purchasing/receiving.”
Dority said the class of 22 students has a typical lecture format meeting Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The students get the hands-on experience during their lab sessions at Market Square on either Tuesday or Thursday, she said.
“Instead of using a typical lab type of environment, they actually get to do their lab with the help of Sodexo,” she said. “They get a much more well-rounded experience by doing this versus just going into our lab and being in that same environment every week.”
The students literally help produce the food that is served to students, she said.
“They just jump in and go with the flow,” Dority said. “I think a lot of them really like to meet the people that they get to meet when they go and do the labs. It makes it a lot more fun when you get in there and you get involved you get to meet different people to work with.”