By Brooke Morse
Senior News Writer
Themed meals, fresh meat, and a spreads bar are just a few of the exciting changes coming to the Z.T. Johnson Cafeteria this year. New cafeteria Head Chef Danielle Sibley shared some of her short- term and long-term goals for the cafeteria as she settles into her new position. Under the supervision of Sibley, the cafeteria is experienc- ing new changes such as increased food quality and consumer sat- isfaction.
“I have a lot of things I plan on removing from the menu and things that I want to add to the menu,” Sibley said.
Sibley began her time at Asbury just a few days before the fresh- men arrived, and as a former chef at the popular Lexington high quality café Shakespeare and Co., she is no stranger to quality food. Although the Asbury University cafeteria is not a restaurant, quality is still exactly what she expects.
“I can take my fine dining experience and to me, that’s an easy translation to the cafeteria,” Sibley said of applying her background at Shakespeare and Co. to Asbury. “After so many years in a kitchen, the concepts are the same. It’s just how you translate that into pre- paring 30 portions or 300 portions.”
The new chef has already been taking steps to improve the quali- ty of the food in the cafeteria. According to Sibley, starting this week the cafeteria’s chicken and beef will be coming from Marksbury Farms, a local meat producer. The cafeteria has also been moving toward obtaining more of their food from the mission farm.
“I want to bring a lot more fresh food to the cafeteria,” Sibley said.
Students should not be concerned that their favorite spicy chicken sandwiches or fresh cookies will disappear. Part of Sibley’s plan is for students to offer their own input on these changes. She encour- ages students to be vocal about the food in the cafeteria that they like and dislike through the Food Board, which, according to Sibley, meets once a month.
“If there’s something that they really enjoy, then I want to make sure it stays in the [meal] cycle, and if there are things that they re- ally don’t like, then I’d like to drop that out or at least minimize it as much as possible,” she said.
These are just some of the new chef’s short terms goals. “As it gets colder out, I want to change the healthy bar into a Pho bar,” Sibley said. What is a Pho bar? Think ramen noodles—only healthier, classier, and with a Vietnamese twist.
In addition, due to the new changes being made to the Grille and the now unlimited transfer meals, the cafeteria will eventually be removing the deli bar. Sibley plans to use this open space to add a spreads bar in an attempt to further broaden students’ options in the cafeteria.
“If you’re having one of those days where you just want some- thing munchy or nothing else looks appealing, you’ll always know you’ll have chips and salsa, or you can get some raw vegetables and humus or just pita and humus,” she said of the new bar.
Themed meals are something else that Sibley hopes to introduce to students this year in the cafeteria. “The cafeteria gets boring,” she said. “I know that when I was in school you’d see the same menu on a four week cycle and it just gets boring and stagnant. This will help re-energize the menu and give you guys something to look forward to.” Possible themed meals mentioned were fall harvest, St. Patrick’s Day, or meals in conjunction with the international department, such as Chinese New Year.
The changes may not be instantaneous, but they are in progress, and the important part is that they are being made. “Everything is just going to be in baby steps,” said Sibley. “If you do too many changes at once then the food quality is not there, but we have a great staff and some really creative cooks, and some of them I think are really energized by the semester.