With the new year in full swing, many on-campus students may wonder where to get their next meal. As the most accessible option is the Hawk dining hall, the Siskiyou this week decided to interview Mary Hinds and Ryan Sweet on what we have to look forward to.
In 1988, Mary Hinds studied at the Culinary Institute of America and graduated with the name “Outstanding Student of Wines and Spirits”. She has vast experience for managing and cooking at various restaurants. Namely, she worked at McCormick and Schmick’s, in the greater San Diego and Portland areas, for over 13 years, as an Executive Chef and held many other titles there. In early 2001, she became the Executive Chef and Owner of The Peerless Restaurant in Ashland, Oregon, alongside her husband, Stu Stein. Currently, she is excited to take on the task of being the Food Service Director of the Hawk.
As for Ryan Sweet, he is the new and upcoming executive chef for the Hawk and is excited to be a part of the team!
With many staff members coming and going over the last few years, the Hawk has undergone transformation after transformation; however, Ryan and Mary hope to make lasting changes that will aid future students to come.
When asked about what big developments will be occurring, Mary replied, “Accountability to us and accountability to our guests….”. This accountability includes the past controversy of many students stealing meal swipes by not sliding their cards or identifying who they are. In turn, the Hawk promises to make sure that their food is hot or cold, fresh, flavorful, and delicious. They also hope to create various styles of dining throughout the hall for their students, of all different backgrounds.
Alongside these changes, Hawk guests may recognize a new change in foodstation names. For instance, Pao and Jojo’s have now become Global Fare and Flame. Ryan proclaims, “The purpose behind that was to branch away from the corporate aspect. We wanted to create a new name for ourselves, as we are in the starting phases of becoming a flagship location”.
With all these new policies and foodstation modifications, some may be wondering about the food. To take a further step away from Aladdin and other college cafeteria corporations, the staff is working to make the food distinct, fresh, sustainable, and healthy. Both Ryan and Mary hope to create a menu that is welcoming to all people with different backgrounds and dining styles. Some exciting foods to look out for: ramen, mac-and-cheese, and risotto bars, and many more options for vegetarians and vegans! Additionally Ryan asserts, “From the past, even when I first stepped in, the food wasn’t great. It was bland and we didn’t have the right people in the right places that had passion… Moving forward, we have some very talented individuals working for us. We’re all ex-restaurant chefs and things of that nature with a strong passion for food and those we serve”. Furthermore, gone are the pre-packaged and pre-made foods from Aladdin, to make room for a scratch kitchen, wherein fresh produce and raw ingredients from primarily local small farmers, including our own SOU Farm, are in stock. Finally, they have added a deep focus on sustainability by composting, recycling, and more. Readers can help out with this movement, themselves, by using the green plastic eco-boxes to take food out, instead of the non-recyclable paper boxes.
By taking this leap of faith in joining our cafeteria’s team, Mary and Ryan feel invigorated and excited to continue making changes to our past Hawk. They believe that their team of like-minded individuals will have the motivational, organizational, and teamwork skills needed to help all students eating habits.
Mary, Ryan, and the rest of the Hawk team are excited to hear about your opinions on the changes going on at the Hawk! Feel free to reach out and send them your comments on https://sou.campus-dining.com/contact-us/.