CMU Dining Hall Dishes Up Great Food and Dollops of
Armies, as Napoleon famously stated, march on their stomachs. But good food
is pretty important for university students, too.
|Ted Dyck: Serving food and care at the CMU dining hall.
Students at CMU are fortunate, in that regard. The dining hall, under the
direction of Food Services Manger and head chef Ted Dyck, provides a great
selection of creative and filling dishes, along with generous dollops of good
humour and care.
A typical monthly menu can feature things like Thai chicken soup, fusilli
with chipolte, African peanut soup, Samosas or Asian flavour wrap—plus more
traditional fare like chili, hamburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and other
“We like to provide unique foods from around the world,” says Dyck, noting
that many CMU students have lived or traveled overseas. Plus, he says “we really
enjoy making different and interesting kinds of dishes.”
Dyck is also committed to providing the healthiest food possible.
“Most of the food we serve is relatively close to being made from scratch,”
he notes, adding they have eliminated trans fats from all their cooking and
baking. For drinks, students can choose milk, hot chocolate, ice tea, juice, tea
and fairly-traded coffee—but no soft drinks.
“It would be cheaper to have soft drinks instead of juice,” Dyck says. “But
it’s not healthy. If they want a soft drink, they can go to a vending machine
outside the dining hall and buy one.”
The staff are also mindful of allergies—gluten and dairy are two that come up
most frequently. “There are always a couple of students with food allergies each
year,” Dyck says.
Dyck knows that not everyone likes to have their taste buds challenged by new
and unusual items. For those students, he is happy to pull something out of the
fridge. “I might even make something special for a student if I know they don’t
like what’s on the menu,” he says.
Getting to know what students like and dislike, and how they are doing in
their personal lives, is just as important to Dyck and his staff of six as
making good, healthy food.
“Since we’re a smaller school, we really get to know all the residential
students very well,” says Dyck, a member of Aberdeen Evangelical Mennonite
Church in Winnipeg. “We know what issues they are facing, and can tell when
someone needs to be encouraged, or is having a hard day.”
They also able to keep an eye out when students change their eating habits--a
sign that someone might be under a lot of stress or feeling ill. “We notice when
someone stops eating, and bring it to the attention of the Student Life
department,” he says.
For Cordella Friesen, who works in the Student Life Department, the dining
hall is a key part of building community at CMU. “Eating together really helps
people get to know each other,” she says.
For Dyck, who has been at CMU since 1996, it’s a great job—and fun, too. “I
couldn’t imagine any other place to work,” he says.
Posted December 14, 2007.
For more information contact the CMU Communications Director, 500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3P 2N2, telephone: 204-487-3300 ext. 630, fax: 204-889-1694,(www.cmu.ca)