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Cornell_Risley_1.jpg Cornell Dining
Cornell's Risley Dining venue now operates a 100-percent gluten-, tree nut- and peanut-free kitchen as certified by the Kitchens with Confidence organization.

Cornell embraces gluten-free dining, Menus of Change principles

A 100-percent gluten-, tree nut- and peanut-free kitchen is one recent highlight, along with a new 100-percent plant-based burger at two locations and the search for more “clean ingredients.”

Perhaps the most prominent recent move made by Cornell Dining was the January 2017 announcement that its Risley Dining venue now operates a 100percent gluten-free, tree nut-free and peanut-free kitchen as it received a gluten-free facility certification from Kitchens with Confidence after completing the process of cleaning or replacing equipment required for certification.

However, in actuality, Risley had been serving gluten-free dishes for the last couple of years without customers even realizing it. For example, its stir-fry station uses rice noodles, and the decadent brownies and the fluffy biscuits are made without wheat flour. Risley’s plant-forward, made-from-scratch menu items also include housemade soups and salad dressings.

Another recent high-profile initiative was the introduction of the 100-percent plant-based Impossible Burger at two Cornell Dining eateries on campus, all part of a commitment to the Menus of Change principles of healthy, sustainable eating.

Cornell Dining recently announced that it will be adding to its already high-quality ingredient standards in several clean ingredient categories to meet the Menus of Change principle of focusing on whole, minimally processed food and transparency in menu items. The department's Clean Ingredients team has already made over 50 changes to the ingredients being purchased, and recipes are being modified to accommodate these changes in both the AYCTE locations and the retail eateries.

While all of the food in the AYCTE dining rooms is already made without trans fats, Cornell Dining has committed to serving 100-percent MSG-free foods by the end of 2018 and is committed to serving whole-muscle meat with no soy protein fillers. Nor are there any nitrates or nitrites used as artificial additives in the pepperoni, breakfast sausage, most deli meats and pizza sausage, and the department plans to solely serve naturally occurring nitrates and nitrites by mid 2018.

In addition, all Cornell Dairy milk, yogurt, and ice cream served on campus is made with milk without rSBT growth hormone, and by January 2019, the department's goal is to serve food made with no artificial color additives, using natural colorings instead.

On the operational front, Cornell Dining recently completed a refresh of its Robert Purcell Marketplace Eatery, a large food fourt-style residential dining room on North Campus, with new stenciled decor on the building's brick interior and new signage for stations.

Cornell Dining is also now responsible for concession operations at Cornell Athletics facilities, and Cornell Catering will manage events at Moakley House, providing a full range of snacks, meals and beverages at Big Red games, finishing up the winter season at Bartels Hall and expanding into additional concession sites for Cornell's spring sports season. Meanwhile, Cornell Concessions will manage events at Moakley House, the clubhouse at Cornell University's Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.

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