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Diners at the Indian Station in the Bear’s Den at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, often marvel at the quality, variety, and authenticity of the meals served there. While those qualities may be standard at Bon Appétit, Wash U does have two secret ingredients: two special cooks who work there: Sona Kukal, born in Kolkata in east India, and Zach Khan, born in Karachi, Pakistan.

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Students here sometimes complain that “there’s nothing to eat,” but that’s a result of their lack of creativity, not Bon Appétit’s. If you eat pasta Alfredo every meal, no matter how flavorful, it can get boring in the long run. Top Chef Dining Hall is designed to get people thinking outside their usual plates: in 30 minutes, five teams compete in making a three-course dinner (appetizer, entrée, and dessert) with only the ingredient and equipment available in the dining hall.

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Coffee is a morning necessity for some people. But for the busy student, waiting in line to get can throw off a packed schedule.To solve that problem, students at University of Redlands in Redlands, CA, can now order their favorite coffee drinks via text. Through a new easy-to-use program called Zingle, customers of the Bulldog Café are ordering their iced coffees, half-caf cappuccinos, and double mochas straight from their phones.

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More and more people are learning about the environmental and health benefits of grass-finished beef and asking for it in stores and restaurants. Fifteen Macalester students from St. Paul, MN, got a chance to learn about this kind of ranching firsthand by visiting Thousand Hills Cattle Company in Cannon Falls, MN, a Bon Appétit Farm to Fork supplier.

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The student-run campus farm at Duke University in Durham, NC, had a successful first year. Students got involved to plant and harvest and the at Bon Appétit has enjoyed watching and cheering the progress of the farm — and of course, loved cooking with the beautiful produce — but one thing was clear to everyone at the end of the first year: a longer growing season would be wonderful.

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Smart phones just keep getting smarter, and students in particular depend on them more and more to access information on the fly. Recently, Bon Appetit at Washington University in St. Louis collaborated with two students to create the new “WUSTL Dining” iPhone app to provide access to menus and nutrition information from anywhere.

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A few decades ago, when the majority of hogs lived outdoors and were able to eat whatever they wanted, pork was deliciously fatty and juicy. As industrial agriculture grew, pork became known as “the other white meat.”Director of Culinary Operations Bernie Laskowski from the Art Institute of Chicago would like to do something about this state of porky affairs.

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Every February for the past 31 years, thousands of fans flock to Santa Cruz’s Beach Boardwalk to sample clam chowder for a good cause. This year, colleagues from Bon Appetit joined forces to support one of their own, Chef de Cuisine Kevin Means, as he presented his award-winning Boston recipe.

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Fresh herbs are an important part of Bon Appétit’s daily menus, finding their way into marinara sauces, condiments, sandwiches, salads, and side dishes. They also have a short shelf life, adding to kitchen waste and expense. The Bon Appétit team at Oracle- Broomfield in Broomfield, CO, is testing a way to grow all the herbs they need year round, using a small amount of indoor space — and hydroponics.

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Terzo Piano, located in the Modern wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, is known far and wide for its creatively seasonal menus made using local, organic, and sustainably produced ingredients. Bon Appétit is proud to partner with award-winning chef Tony Mantuano to serve visiting art lovers and the greater Chicago community. In this interview, Tony talks about feeding the Obamas, being on Top Chef Masters, and what it’s like to work at the intersection of food and art.

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