ECU nutrition students prepare educational feast

Aurora Mendoza puts the final touches on a  mixed green salad with fruit and nuts during meal service at the Darden Dining Room on campus. (Contributed photos)

Aurora Mendoza puts the final touches on a  mixed green salad with fruit and nuts during meal service at the Darden Dining Room on campus. (Contributed photos)

 

By Nicole Wood
College of Human Ecology

Three days a week at East Carolina University, guests can satisfy their lunchtime hunger while supporting nutrition students’ education in the College of Human Ecology’s Darden Dining Room.

Sarah Sykes helps Justin Simmons with a New England slaw.

Sarah Sykes helps Justin Simmons with a New England slaw.

Students in the food production in dietetics course – now in its fifth year – acquire hands-on experience in the kitchen, at the front of the house and in marketing positions. During the preceding fall semester, students learn about food preparation and management principles applied to quantity healthcare food production. The spring course then allows them to put their plans – and menus – into action.

“The students are getting real-world experience. Building a menu and standardizing recipes is something they will do in their future positions,” said ECU professor Diana Saum, who teaches both the fall and spring semester courses.

“We want to ensure that our students are gaining the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in their chosen career,” said Saum.

Nutrition Science student Sarah Sykes said she was excited to get into the kitchen this semester. “I have learned so much throughout this experience, from basic food production terms in the classroom to real life management experiences in lab,” she said.

“Having people purchase our food allows us to gain feedback and fully experience the complete food production process. We value everyone who comes in to try our food and we thank them for aiding in our development as future nutritionists.”

The Darden Dining Room is open to the public for lunch on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays throughout the spring semester from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Prices typically range from $4 per entrée to $1.50 for dessert. Cash or check is accepted. Sign up for Saum’s reminder e-mail, which includes the daily menu, by e-mailing her at saumd@ecu.edu.

Krysta Parkhurst (left) and Brooke Radford show off their soups to Nutrition Science advisor Jan Fletcher.

Krysta Parkhurst (left) and Brooke Radford show off their soups to Nutrition Science advisor Jan Fletcher.

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