Courtesy of Cornell Dining

With help from the human resources department, Cornell Dining created the Take Us Home program add new “homestyle” meals to cafés around campus.

October 30, 2018

Cornell Dining Expands Menu With New Take-Home Options in Cafés

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Tired of microwaving Cup Noodles for dinner? Cornell Dining is adding four new entrees to its menu as a part of its new Take Us Home program, in which it will be selling fully cooked take-home dinners to the campus community.

The four new entrees — Chicken Parmigiana, BBQ Pulled Pork, Chicken Street Tacos and Southwest Style Tofu and Grain Bowl — have already been introduced in Bear Necessities, Mattin’s Cafe, Café Jennie and Amit Bhatia Libe Café. Next week, these options will be available in Trillium and Jansen’s Market.

With help from the human resources department, Cornell Dining created the Take Us Home program to make “homestyle” meals for those who “don’t have time to relax in one of our All You Care to Eat dining rooms,” said Dustin Cutler, Cornell Dining director.

The homestyle entrees are meant to be affordable and healthy alternatives to take-out and “TV dinners,” according to Cutler. The recipes were developed by Cornell Dining Quality Assurance and Development Chef Paul Zullo, with help from the members of the culinary team which included Kayla Hoffman, Mackenzie Korb, and Robert Berkley.

When drafting new recipes, the dining team combines suggestions from chefs, culinary teams at peer institutions and students. Then staff members in the purchasing, nutrition, finance and IT departments help put the plan into action.

Pat Wynn, executive director of campus life enterprise services, Cutler and the rest of the management team are generally responsible for creating entirely new lines like Take Us Home.

The Take Us Home prices, which are in the $8 to $10 range, are designed to be competitive with ready-to-reheat supermarket or cafe meals and pay-per-pound hot/cold bars. Ingredient costs, time required to prepare and cook, packaging and fuel-used in distributing items are also all considered when determining the price of new food.