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Bon Appétit brings change to Hub experience

Published: Saturday, August 24, 2013

Updated: Saturday, August 24, 2013 13:08

bon apetit baker


During a behind the scenes tour to see where all the new food in the Hub is being made, one of the bakers is as sweet as sugar.

Kristen Dickman


Junior Kristen Dickman is enjoying the new food options in the Hub during lunch after returning from summer break.

campus farm food


Some of the food from the DePauw campus farm is on display in the Hub so that students can see what it is they're eating.

Returning students will be a bit thrown off when they enter the Hub to grab a bite, as DePauw has re-vamped the dining experience with a new food service, Bon Appétit, in an effort to maintain an eco-friendly campus.

On July 1, DePauw welcomed the new food service provider Bon Appétit, adding DePauw as one of their clients alongside Duke University, Wabash College and Wheaton College. Although this may seem like a big change to returning upperclassmen, Bon Appétit general manager Jason Rose assures the food service hasn’t taken anything away, but rather, has expanded to add more variety.

“We’re blessed to work for a great company that allows us, the chefs, the creativity to go out there and create dishes and utilize authentic ingredients that we could source locally as much as possible,” Rose said.

Students will now see more food options such as vegan, vegetarian, organic, humane and gluten free. The concept of Food Lab, Blackstock Grill and Simply Asian in the Hub area still exist but under different names and now offer more diverse options. Food Lab is now known as the Market Area featuring classic American comfort cuisine. Blackstock Grill is known as The Grill and offers grilled specials such as french fries and hamburgers. Simply Asian is now known as the Global area. In addition to Chinese dishes, Thai, Russian and Mediterranean will also be offered in this area. The new pizza station gives chefs a chance to create pizzas from scratch, which will diverge students away from their basic toppings.

Meals have set prices: breakfast is $6, lunch is $7 and dinner is $8. Students pay before they enter the restaurant area. Then, they are free to come and go as long as they have a receipt handy.

Dorian Shager, dean of campus life, acted as a liaison with students to determine what they wanted in a new food service. He has received positive feedback from students on the all you can eat option.

“You pay the one price, and you have more flexibility and options with what you get,” Shager said. “It doesn’t mean more value for the money that you spend, its higher quality and value as well.”

Kevin Kessinger , associate vice president of finance, has also been involved with the process of transitioning from Sodexo to Bon Appétit. Kessinger is pleased with how Bon Appétit is utilizing the DePauw Campus Farm for their Farm to Fork program. This program promotes buying ingredients from local farms and ranches within a 150 mile radius of a school’s café.

Kessinger explained how the University is shrinking DePauw’s carbon foot print by going trayless, which promotes students to return to the café area for more food, instead of piling food on a tray.

“If you have trays, you take more than you eat,” Kessinger said. “Thirty percent more waste goes into landfills, and that’s more methane gas, which is worse than carbon dioxide.”

Upperclassmen already on campus are still adjusting to the new food service but seem pleased with the food. Senior Stephanie Wethington said she thinks the food change is great for first-year students. However, the transition is not as easy for upperclassmen accustomed to the Sodexo layout.

“As an upperclassman it’s kind of different because there’s not much seating ... so it’s going to be hard,” Wethington said.

Rose says that the flow throughout the Hub will be an adjustment in the upcoming year, but students can still enjoy their meals in the terrace and the patio of the dining area. Rose is open to any questions and feedback concerning Bon Appétit and is located in the office in the lower level at the Hub. 

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