Bon Appétit Teams Take Guests on Fall Adventures
- by Peter Todaro
As fall turns to winter, we’re looking back on a season of Adventures!
Across the country, our Regional Directors of Activation and on-site teams have been working hard to energize the dining experience for guests. They’ve shared seasonal samplings with students and employees in the Midwest, hosted cooking competition “Food Fights” at colleges in the northeast and brought local farmers and authors into the cafés of tech companies in the West.
Read on to explore a highlight reel of just a smattering of our teams’ Fall Adventures.
General Manager Susan Davis and Lead Baker Samantha Watson got festive with a “Tart, Turnover, Pie, Oh My!” Adventure, where they sampled a bevy of Thanksgiving pies! Best Buy employees were treated to Dutch apple pie, pumpkin pie, and even a pecan pie. All the pies were baked in-house, of course, allowing Sam and the Bon Appétit team to show off their from-scratch baking skills. Pre-order forms were also available for guests to purchase their pies for the holidays.
The Bon Appétit at Denison University team led a Food Fight event that brought over 50 students to watch the action! Teams of three students each, as well as a “Dean Team” of three college deans competed in the event, choosing ingredients from a mystery box that included local apples. An unseasonably warm day in Ohio meant that the venue’s large doors could be opened to make the Food Fight an indoor and outdoor event. While the competition was fierce, a team of students who dubbed themselves “Team Everything” took home the win!
The Bon Appétit at DePauw team also held a “Tart, Turnover, Pie, Oh My!” Adventure, in which they set up samples of holiday pies and desserts that the community could order for the holidays. They gave out samples of pie, pumpkin rolls, and more, and took preorders from students, faculty, and staff using a form right at the table.
At Federated Insurance in Owatonna, MN, the team delighted guests with a seasonal pop-up and sampling. They served up local apples topped with peanut butter, cream cheese, peanuts, and dried cranberries. The treats were so popular that the team initially ran out, but were able to whip up more on the fly!
The Bon Appétit at Lafayette team hosted a Food Fight Adventure during their annual chili cook-off. Executive Chef Breandan Duff, Executive Chef Terry Nielsen, Executive Chef Scott Sypniewski, Cook Dale Limeberry, and Sous Chef Krista Havens went head-to-head in a blind tasting challenge. Lafayette students, faculty, and staff were invited to sample all four chili recipes and then cast a vote for their favorite. In an extremely close contest, Dale Limeberry’s “Texas Trucker Chili” garnered the most votes.
University of Pennsylvania
Penn Dining celebrated Native American Heritage Month as part of its Penn Cooks series with featured recipes from Chef Sean Sherman’s cookbook, “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen”, which focuses on the use of Indigenous ingredients and ancestral culinary techniques. The Penn Dining team invited campus groups to join them for dinner at Hill House, which featured dishes included Tatanka Truck fried wild rice bowls, cedar braised bison, sumac roasted turkey breast, sumac acorn squash, juniper scented crispy duck leg, maple sage roasted vegetables, Wojape-style cranberry maple sauce, and more. These dishes were also featured at cafés across campus, much to the delight of students.
Oracle Redwood Shores
Pop-In is an Adventure meant to bring guests into closer contact with local restaurants, farmers, and even Bon Appétit chefs at nearby cafés. The Oracle Redwood Shores team succeeded by holding a Pop-in From the Neighborhood event that saw a representative from Paicines Ranch stop by the café to chat with guests.
Students flocked to a Seasonal Sweets pop-up created by General Manager Amy Tomes, Baker Laura Standel and Baker Samantha Cunningham. Regional Director of Activation Jessie Gentz was in attendance, and along with Laura interacted with guests while they tried complimentary baked goods including profiteroles, spiced pumpkin bars, and even mocha macaroons!
Verily celebrated Diwali with a Book Club adventure, inviting recipe developer, food photographer, and creator of the popular blog Signature Concoctions, Vasanti Bhadkamkar-Balan to visit campus. The Periodic Table Café’s Chef Barry and his team transformed the entire café and served dishes from her book, Authentic Indian Cooking with Your Instant Pot. Twenty guests signed up for Menu Mail and received a personalized copy of the book, while everyone who attended received a recipe for her “Bliss Balls.”