Posts Tagged ‘Rollins Dining Hall’

Cooking up some gratitude

April 4, 2011 Comments off

By Adam Neal, Guest Contributor

"You might be surprised to learn that while you enjoy complaining now, you will one day look back on this time as ‘the good ole days...’

I would like to offer an alternative, and perhaps more worldly, view on the recent editorial piece about the poor quality of the food services at Young Harris.  I, for one, am puzzled and rather exhausted by the grumbling dissent of YHC students over the perceived lack of satisfying meals offered by the cafeteria.

Don’t misunderstand; I was a college student once.  I recognize how “en vogue” it can be to complain en masse about cafeteria style dining and bemoan the apparent necessity to pursue food off campus at restaurants.  I was there once as well, and believe me when I say that the cafeteria when I was in college pales in comparison to YHC’s.

However, after being “liberated” from the cafeteria my junior year of college and living in an apartment, I thought it was going to be great.  I could cook my own food, what I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted.  There was only one problem: that meant that I actually had to cook.

It isn’t that I don’t like to cook, I do.  Rather, the issue is that in order to cook, many things have to occur: grocery runs, cleaning pots and pans, doing dishes, keeping up with the labors of a working kitchen, taking the time to cook and so on. Even further, while the meal plans always seemed high, at least they weren’t actively coming out of my pocket, which the grocery runs were.

You might be surprised to learn that while you enjoy complaining now, you will one day look back on this time as ‘the good ole days’ when food was cooked for you, dishes were taken care of, and you didn’t have to keep a grocery list to make sure that you had more than just ramen to eat.

When I started teaching at YHC, I was incredibly grateful for the cafeteria, and my gratitude has only grown with the change of management under Sodexo.

Whenever I eat in the cafeteria, I can always find something not only worth eating, but often truly satisfying and flavorful. I am frankly disappointed in the sentiments of the previous submission that “the food should be cooked thoroughly… and tastefully prepared” which I find to be supremely sophomoric and inconsistent with my experience.

While I may come across a dish from time to time that I am personally not very interested in, I can usually discern this before putting it on my plate, and regardless there is always something else satisfying to be found.

So, the next time that you are eating a piece of meatloaf that doesn’t live up to the standards of “it’s not my grandmother’s meatloaf,” ask yourself how much time, money, and energy it would have taken to procure said meatloaf on your own, not to mention all the extra work required such as making grocery runs, cleaning up, doing dishes, and so forth.

My advice, dearest students: enjoy it while you have it.

Battle of the chefs

April 1, 2011 Comments off

By Hailey Silvey, Staff Writer

Chef Andy Ledbetter cooks up some BBQ for last week's cook off. Photo by Leila Shearon

This year, students have been treated to four cook-offs between two chefs in the Rollins Dining Hall, but does anybody really know the men behind the food? Chefs Andy Ledbetter and Allen Clark are no strangers to serving up tasty dishes for each cook-off.

Originally from New Orleans, Ledbetter attended culinary school in Orlando. Before arriving at YHC, Ledbetter received cooking experience in New Orleans, Orlando and South Carolina.

When asked how long he has been cooking, Ledbetter responded, “Honestly, about all my life. I would guess I probably started around age 12.” Being from New Orleans, Ledbetter says that his specialty is Cajun food of any kind.

It wasn’t until 2006 that Ledbetter came to YHC as a chef.

Chef Allen Clark, general manager of Rollins Dining Hall, started cooking in the kitchen of his parent’s restaurant around age 12.

Chef Allen Clark served up Texas style smoked brisket for the cook off. Photo by Leila Shearon

Originally from Texas, Clark did not begin seriously cooking until around the age of 23. Clark, unlike Ledbetter, did not attend culinary school. Clark went to college to be an engineer, but he didn’t like being an engineer. “I was good at the school part, but not the engineer part,” Clark said.

Though still in his first year at YHC, Clark has cooked in multiple restaurants, including New York City restaurants, such as The Four Seasons and the Sea Grill. Clark’s most recent job before he came to YHC was cooking for the Atlanta Braves. With a range of cooking experience, Clark says his specialty is sauces and sautéed dishes.

“I’m really good at layering flavors, so that you go from one flavor to another while still getting a unified whole,” Clark said.

As a competitor in last Wednesday’s BBQ cook-off, Clark prepared a Texas style smoked brisket. Ledbetter cooked up a pulled pork with bourbon peach BBQ sauce.

This year there have been four chef cook-offs, including gumbo, lasagna, shrimp and grits and BBQ.

Ledbetter won the gumbo and lasagna cook-offs, while Clark won the shrimp and grits cook-off. Last Wednesday’s BBQ cook-off resulted in a 66-21 vote in favor of Ledbetter’s dish.

Though Ledbetter’s dish won in votes, both dishes were enjoyed by students.

Maggie Neal, a freshman from Elberton, sampled both dishes and while they were different styles, she enjoyed them equally.

“I’m used to eating pulled pork, but I thought the brisket was quite delightful.  I might branch out next time I get BBQ and go for beef.”