I am delighted to lead the food services department at Thomas Aquinas College, New England. Good food connects us as a community in many ways. It is occasion for classroom discussions to continue, for new friendships to blossom, and for students, faculty, and staff to connect with each other and share ideas or maybe just a laugh.
As an alumnus of the California campus with 30 years’ experience in hospitality, I am committed to making every decision in our kitchen focused on students’ well-being.
The team of kitchen supervisors I lead consists mostly alumni, so as a department we are aligned with the values of the College, complement the culture of the institution, and understand firsthand the student experience.
Thoughtfully Crafted Menus
Our menus have been carefully written to provide healthy, fresh, and flavorful meals with variety and seasonal ingredients. Whenever possible, we make dressings, baked goods, and sauces in house. At every meal, we provide gluten- and dairy-free options that match, as closely as possible, the entrée and sides that are being served. Because our kitchen is not free of the eight main food allergens (egg, dairy, gluten, fish, shellfish, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts), we label items that contain allergens for any category which our students have sensitivities. Dairy-free alternatives such as oat milk and almond milk are always available in all our locations. We offer a good selection of options for those with medically necessary dietary restrictions. To ensure we are able to accommodate these restrictions, we ask that you communicate these needs to the campus nurse and the assistant dean in advance of the school year.
We have begun partnerships with some of the numerous dairy, poultry, and produce farms in the surrounding valley. This will continue to be a focus as the student body grows over the coming years. For the balance of our purchasing, we work with reputable buyers to ensure all our ingredients are responsibly sourced. Our meats are solid muscle and fat, avoiding mechanically processed items.
We aim to let the excellent produce, whole grains, and lean proteins shine through in our cooking. As such, we use minimal amounts of lean, plant-based oils, and make dishes as close to meal time as possible. Fresh herbs and authentic spices are central to our process. We never use MSG. There are always vegetarian options, including proteins, at each meal. Our salad bar — which offers a selection of fresh greens, raw vegetables, fresh fruit, and delicious toppings, as well as composed salads — is available for lunch, dinner, and brunch. For breakfast we offer fresh fruit, yogurts, and cottage cheese, as well as our freshly made eggs, breakfast sandwiches, and bacon or sausage.
I look forward to welcoming you to the New England campus!
Director of Food Services
Thomas Aquinas College, New England