Tag Archive: Dining

  1. In Pierson, Sunday night dinner off-limits for transfers

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    For non-Piersonites, eating in Pierson on Sunday evenings is now a thing of the past.

    According to an email sent out Tuesday morning by Betty Lattanzi, senior administrative assistant for Pierson College, only students with a Pierson sticker on their ID cards will be admitted to the dining hall for dinner on Sunday nights.

    The change follows new dining restrictions implemented Monday by Berkeley College, which limit dining hall hours for non-Berkeley students. Non-Berkeleyites will not be allowed to eat in the dining hall for two Mondays each month, and, for the other two Mondays, can only enter after 6:30 p.m.

    Pierson students who have yet to receive their Pierson ID stickers can pick them up from the Master’s Office all week. In addition, a Master’s Aide will distribute stickers to Pierson students in the dining hall during dinner on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

  2. PSA: Restricted Berkeley dining hours begin today

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    If you’re not in Berkeley and planned to eat in the dining hall today, you may want to think again.

    In an effort to avoid overcrowding, Berkeley College Master Marvin Chun submitted a proposal — which was recently approved — to Yale Dining and the Council of Masters last week that would close Berkeley’s dining hall for dinner to non-Berkeley students two Mondays each month, when the college hosts Berkeley Fellows’ dinners. On the other two Mondays, transfers will not be able to eat before 6:30 p.m.

    The policy, Chun wrote in a Monday newsletter to Berkeley students, aims to “alleviate the unsustainable demand” on Berkeley’s facilities and staff without significantly inconveniencing the dining hall staff of other residential colleges.

    “I’m very grateful to you all for being so supportive and understanding of our need to balance overcrowding with our desire to be a welcoming space to the broader community,” Chun wrote in his email.

    We hope this policy solves Berkeley’s utensils crisis — the college just never seems to have enough cups or forks during dinner to satisfy its huge volume of hungry customers.

  3. Q&A with Mory’s Executive Chef Jeff Caputo

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    Ever wonder who’s responsible for making the food at Mory’s? Jeff Caputo, executive chef at one of New Haven’s most iconic restaurants, sat down with the News to talk about his style. Caputo previously served as Executive Chef for Scoozzi, a restaurant that abruptly closed October 2011, before he took his skills to Mory’s.

    Q: Why do you love cooking?

    A: Well, cooking to me is different than being a professional chef, because it’s total freedom. I get to experiment and do what I want, but I wouldn’t put the term cooking into being a professional chef.

    Q: Well, then why do you love being a professional chef?

    A: Because it encompasses so many different kinds of expertise, from cost management, which involves labor, food, equipment, and budgets, to being able to put in my passion. My passion is creativity with food. You get to see your results on a day-to-day basis, so it’s always changing, it’s always interesting, and it’s sort of timeless.

    Q: How did you come to Mory’s?

    A: Originally Ken Adams [General Manager] asked me to come on as consultant and work with the chef that was here. But I guess there was some sort of falling out at some point with the chef who was here, so I came on to help on an interim basis. One thing led to another, and they offered me a position.

    Q: Mory’s has quite a bit of tradition, what does that mean to you?

    A: Right now, I’m trying to integrate what I do into the tradition here. I feel an obligation to that tradition, in some way to carry it on, and in some way to put my own footprint in it with the food. Every chef will inevitably leave some sort of footprint with what they do. At Scoozzi, I went into a very good restaurant that at the time was sort of floundering and I put my footprint on it and went on to be there for 12 years. With the tradition here, it’s somewhat of an honor to be the chef at Mory’s, so I’m doing my best to get the food back on the map here.

    Q: So what are you looking to change?

    A: I’d like to ground the menu a bit. I think the menu I walked into was a little bit scattered and unidentifiable to me as a chef professionally. I’m trying to ground the menu in some traditional preparations and modernize them a bit. Grounded just means we’re getting everyone down to basics and putting out very good quality food without over-the-top preparations. It’s traditional yet contemporary.

    Q: You think there will be a new favorite dish on your menu?

    A: You know what? I would hope so, but that’s totally something a chef can’t choose — it finds its own way.

    Q: Well what’s your favorite thing you guys make?

    A: Oh my, honestly I don’t have a favorite dish. I honestly don’t. We’ve been making this bolognese because one thing that’s been requested was that we could put some of the Scoozzi favorites on the menu. People really loved our risotto and our bolognese, so I put both of them on the menu, and we’ve been getting a lot of compliments from members. But I’m proud of everything on the menu. I’ve never had a favorite — I get more hyped about doing the specials because I can be more creative on a day-to-day basis.

    Q: Fun fact?

    A:I’m a rabid surf caster. Crawl out onto the rocks, put on a wetsuit, and fish for striped bass. No bait. It’s really a niche sport, when you’re going out through four- or six-feet waves to get to an offshore rock it gets a little crazy. But that’s my relaxation.

  4. Dining appears to change Durfee’s swipe policy


    Since the semester began, students have noticed that they can no longer use their meal swipes at Durfee’s after 12 p.m. on weekends and then eat brunch in a residential college dining hall.

    For the past few years, students have been able to “double-swipe” on weekends ­— spending up to $7 at Durfee’s with a meal transfer swipe before swiping into the dining hall for brunch. But this semester, students have not been able to eat brunch in their college dining halls if they used a meal swipe at Durfee’s beforehand. Despite the apparent switch in meal swipe regulations, neither students, Durfee’s employees nor dining staff interviewed were aware of a formal change in Yale Dining policy.

    Emily Briskin ’15 said she discovered something about the meal swipe rules had changed soon after she returned from winter break. Briskin said she took a routine Saturday trip to Durfee’s and then tried unsuccessfully to swipe at brunch in the Berkeley dining hall.

    Confused by what had happened, Briskin emailed Michael Aaronian, a Berkeley dining hall manager, who told her in a Jan. 21 email that there was no new policy in place, and students had not been allowed to swipe at Durfee’s before brunch for at least three years.

    “This rule has been in effect for at least 3 plus years since I was made aware of it, and you can find this information in the meal plan section on our web site,” Aaronian wrote in an email that Briskin provided the News. “I don’t know why or how long this process of double swiping has occurred.”

    Troy Jackson, an assistant manager of Durfee’s, said he did not know that students had encountered problems this semester with using meal swipes at Durfee’s and then swiping at brunch.

    Tom Tucker, Yale Dining’s director of retail development and operations deferred comment to Jeanette Norton, Yale Dining’s deputy director of finance and administration, who declined to comment.

    Of 18 students interviewed, those who had been aware of the option to double-swipe at Durfee’s and then brunch on weekends criticized the apparent change in policy.

    Kevin Liu ’14 said he used to swipe at Durfee’s on weekends before eating brunch in the college dining halls, and thought it was unreasonable that the option no longer existed.

    “We are paying for a full meal plan which is supposed to be 21 meals per week, but on weekends people eat two meals,” Liu said. “Where is the third meal going to come from? It would be reasonable for us to get two meal swipes, even if we don’t wake up earlier on Saturday or Sunday.”

    Connor Lounsbury ’14 also said he thought students were supposed to get three meals a day, and did not understand why students could no longer double-swipe at Durfee’s and then brunch on weekends.

    Lucy Hui ’15 said she goes to Durfee’s several times a week, including Saturday and Sunday. She would often take her suitemates’ ID cards on weekends and combine their meal swipes to buy about $25 worth of food, she added.

    “The new change makes me sad,” Hui said. “I’ve always used a Durfee’s swipe and then gotten brunch. I’m hoping that the Timothy Dwight dining staff will let me still use meals swipes there after going to Durfee’s.”

    Durfee’s is open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and from 12 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

    Ben Prawdzik contributed reporting.

  5. Trayless dining garners mixed reviews


    Silliman College dining hall’s move to eliminate trays this semester — following the lead of the Trumbull and Morse/Stiles dining halls — is receiving criticism from both students and dining hall staff.

    Over the past three years, the Sustainability Education Peers (STEP) has been coordinating with Yale Dining to present evidence that trayless dining reduces food, water and energy waste to residential college masters, who ultimately make the decision to remove trays. Silliman Master Judith Krauss said she has heard both positive and negative responses to the initiative during the first two weeks of school, and she said Silliman will remain without trays through at least the end of the semester.

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    “The view is we need to give it a full term’s test run and that most people appear to be adjusting,” she said.

    Three years ago, STEP conducted a survey to measure the amount of food wasted at the end of every meal and found that students who used trays wasted 40 percent more food than those without trays, according to Erica Rothman, director of STEP. Since that time, STEP studies have found that around 70 percent of students go trayless by choice.

    Rothman said she hopes more residential colleges will also move towards eliminating trays.

    “We’ve noticed a changing culture,” Rothman said. “With the last class that graduated, we have more freshman coming in now who are immediately subjected to the trayless campaign, and from the get go don’t pick up a tray.”

    Krauss said she has been trying to slowly transition away from trays in the dining hall for two years, first by suggesting optional trayless dining and then requiring students to dine without trays on Sundays. She added that trayless dining in Silliman alone saves 100 gallons of hot water per meal period.

    Three dining hall staff members said trayless dining complicates the dish-clearing process and creates more work for the staff.

    “We have to clean the floors more often, there are more spills and the clearing window isn’t set up for just plates,” said Schymon Griffin, a dish washer in Silliman. “It’s not feasible for us or for students.”

    Michael Powell, another Silliman dining hall employee, said the staff has not yet adjusted to the change. He said that the process of cleaning dishes becomes much messier for dish washers because the clearing station is designed to stack trays, not plates. Although Krauss said bins intended to hold plates and silverware have been added to absorb the overflow at peak hours, Silliman dining hall staffer Danny Lowery said students often forget to use them.

    Students interviewed expressed mixed reactions about the trend to reduce the use of trays in dining halls.

    Six of nine students interviewed said having no access to trays is inconvenient. Matthew Lindsey ’14 said the layout of Silliman dining hall exacerbates the problem since it was designed with the intent that diners use trays. He added that the recently renovated Morse/Stiles dining hall was designed for the use of plates without trays, so the lack of trays there presents less of a challenge.

    Alex Allouche ’13 said because students often only have 20 minutes to eat a meal between classes, it is unlikely they can make multiple trips to and from the food distribution area during the busiest hours.

    But other students said they are not affected by the change. Two students interviewed said they do not mind dining without trays because of the resources conserved, and Katherine Rouse ’14 said the policy would not alter her dining routine.

    “It doesn’t really bother me because I didn’t use [trays] when we had them,” Rouse said.

    Harvard, Columbia and Brown have also experimented with implementing trayless dining.

  6. UPDATE: Silliman not giving up trayless

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    Trayless dining has been a distant, fleeting dream for a long time — in the ever-crowded, normally-perfect Silliman Dining Hall, trays have slowly been disappearing as part of an initiative to get the college trayless altogether.

    Monday was supposed to be the first day of a semester totally tray-free in Silliman, but according to an email to the Silliman community Monday night, it did not go as hoped. Master Judith Krauss told the Silliman community that early reports have deemed the initiative an “unmitigated disaster.” The dish clearing station cannot handle trayless dish returns at such a high volume, she said.

    “I hate to bail on any change initiative prematurely but also don’t take any pleasure in making the community suffer unnecessarily,” Krauss wrote.

    Krauss did request more feedback from students — the dream that is trayless is still alive.

    CORRECTION: Jan. 11 Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article incorrectly claimed that trays had returned to the Silliman dining hall. Silliman is still trayless, and Master Krauss is asking students to send in more feedback before making a final decision. We apologize for the mistake.

  7. Saybrook stops sorting dirty dishes


    In the latest show of dissent against Yale Dining’s new dish sorting system, the Saybrook dining hall returned to the previous tray stacking method Saturday.

    Yale Dining initially asked students to sorttheir dirty dishes into different bins at the beginning of this semester to reduce clutter and eliminate the need for trays, Director of Residential College Dining Regenia Phillips told the News in early October. But Paul Hudak, master of Saybrook College, said the sorting system increased traffic and inefficiency while prompting complaints from students.

    Several other college dining halls, such as Jonathan Edwards and Silliman, are also not using the sorting system.

    “I think that the system might work well in some colleges, but it was just not working in Saybrook,” Hudak said, adding that the dining hall will still utilize environmentally friendly practices such as composting food and encouraging students to dine without trays.

    The sorting system had become a major problem for diners, he said, because of the increased time it took to scrape food into the trash and then move to the sorting bins. This traffic in the clearing area caused students to drop more food onto the floor, which resulted in more work for staff.

    But five students and two dining hall workers interviewed in Saybrook had mixed reactions about the move back to the tray stacking system. Juanita Lewis, a dining hall staff member in Saybrook, said that she has not noticed a reduction in traffic since Saturday’s change, and she said the tray stacking system makes the jobs of dishwashers more difficult.

    “I think it’s a bad idea because it’s more work for the dish room people to do as far as separating,” she said. “With the old system, they could get the clean silverware and plates up here on time to replenish the stock.”

    Dining hall staff member Calvin Willoughby added that the tray stacking system presents particular challenges on busy days.

    Chelsey Dunham ’14 said she was happy to return to the traystacking method because it facilities an easier and quicker cleanup process, and Elizabeth Quander ’15 said before the policy was reversed, she often saw students dropping food, plates and silverware.

    But Lynne Chapman ’14 said she did not mind scraping her plate if it would reduce the work of the dining hall staff.

    “If it takes me a minute to do something that would take someone else much longer, I don’t mind,” she said.

    Students can provide feedback to Yale Dining on the Yale Dining website or on comment cards in the dining halls.

  8. Dining halls to use new, uniform china set

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    Yale Dining has replaced the custom china sets in the residential colleges with a uniform set that will be used all across campus. The new china set features white plates with an outline and a “Y” on the bottom.

    The new set also has considerably fewer pieces than the old set – it includes only a big plate, a saucer, a mug and a bowl.

    The new plates are bigger, and allow students to take more food without having to take a tray, according to assistant director of supply management Gerry Remer, who was in charge of ordering the new set. She added that having a single pattern is more efficient and cost-effective, whereas the old plates were more expensive and hard to custom-order.

    The old plates will still be used at formal occasions in the colleges, according to Yale Dining Executive Director Rafi Taherian.

  9. Dining cuts back on providing food for student groups

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    Something was missing from this year’s annual Yale Political Union barbecue: food.

    Adam Stempel, speaker of the YPU, said his organization cancelled the event when Yale Dining said they would no longer provide food because they could no longer afford it.

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    The YPU and other student organizations that have asked Dining to provide food for their events say they’re facing stricter regulations. Yale Dining administrators declined to comment on the changes, but members of student groups said the administrators told them that, facing budget cuts, Dining has made an effort to cut down on misuse of their offerings. As a result, some groups have been denied food entirely, though Dining has allowed others, especially residential college councils, to operate as they have in the past.

    Yale Dining traditionally provided food for student organizations when large numbers of members would be unable to eat in a dining hall — at a residential college-sponsored tailgate, for instance — or when a group was hosting a large event, such as a barbecue.

    Thomas C. Duffy, director of the Yale bands, said Yale Dining used to simply provide a number of bagged meals when the band was traveling for a performance. Now, he said, Dining wants more information on who will be eating these lunches.

    “At the beginning of the year, Yale Dining expressed concern about students ‘double-dipping’, or using both a swipe at a dining hall and consuming a lunch pack,” Duffy said. The problem is further complicated by the fact that different members of the band have different meal plans and might be receiving more meals than those included in their plan, Duffy added.

    After meeting with Dining, Duffy said he will now submit the names of the specific students who plan to eat a bagged lunch so Yale Dining can keep track of meal plan holders, something already required of college councils that ask for food from Dining.

    As for those attending a retreat for La Casa on Saturday, Analisse Marquez ’14 said students had to provide ID numbers so their college dining hall could subtract a meal from their plan. Even though the dining halls knew that anyone on the La Casa retreat wouldn’t be eating on campus, Marquez said, they made sure to detract meal swipes, just in case.

    But, Marquez added, under the new rules, students are unable to eat in a dining hall if they change their mind and decide not to attend their events.

    Residential college councils that had already asked students for ID numbers in advance of events report few changes.

    “[Ezra Stiles College Council] has not been negatively affected at all,” said the college council President Justin Lowenthal ’11. “Dining has actually been more accommodating, coordinating events with us despite the difficulties of living in Swing Space.”

    College council members said communicating with Dining before an event is easier for residential colleges than other student organizations because the individual dining halls can keep better track of which students will be attending within their own college.