An entirely plant-based catering menu is being introduced at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. Created by Sodexo dining team members, the menu, termed Rustic Roots Catering, was driven by client demand using recipes shared with Sodexo by the Humane Society and offers dairy- and meat-free breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts.
“Recently, we’ve been receiving more and more special requests for plant-based menu items from faculty, staff and students in all facets of our operation,” says Christine Hubbard, retail operations manager. “We answered the initial call by introducing a plant-based station in one of our resident dining locations.”
Campus Executive Chef Joe Pina says he found he was also creating custom plant-based menus for many catered events and decided to introduce these menu options into the campus’s Catertrax system (Catertrax is a third-party catering management software program designed for use by management companies).
“A lot of the dishes came from the Food Forward recipes provided to us by the Humane Society,” Hubbard explains. “We had recently done a two-day on-site training with them, so it was fresh in our minds.”
Catering Manager Christina Melancon, a registered dietitian, says she was able to quickly research and identify nutritional information for all recipes created by Pina.
The menu features innovative dishes like Southern-style jackfruit sandwiches, spinach tofu scramble with cavatappi, Buffalo cauliflower wings and vegan chocolate quinoa cake.
“Bridgewater State University and the campus community are very wellness-focused, so introducing this menu lines right up,” Hubbard says. “We’re very excited to showcase this menu in the fall.”
Like most other colleges and universities, Bridgewater State suspended in-person classes for the balance of the spring semester and sent students who can do so away from campus. Those who remain continue to get grab and go, take-away meal service between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. every day at the school’s East Campus Commons. The school has also already announced that it will hold Summer Session I (May 26-June 29) and 10-week summer session classes online only but has not yet made a determination about Summer Session II (July 6-August 7) or fall classes.