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University of Delaware Debuts New Gluten-friendly Dining Hall

Celiac.com 01/29/2016 - The drive to introduce specialties like kosher, gluten-free, vegan, and allergy-friendly foods at college campuses has really taken off in the last few years, with more and more colleges establishing alternative dining halls and food selections on their campuses.

Photo: CC--Wikimedia _CommonsThe latest beneficiaries of the this movement are the students of the University of Delaware, which just opened the new, state-of-the-art Caesar Rodney Residence Hall Complex and dining hall, in partnership with food-service vendor Aramark. The dining hall will offer a new dining options for students with dietary restrictions, including kosher, gluten-free and vegan.

Asked about the focus of the project, Ryan Boyer, marketing director for Aramark, says that main idea is "a restaurant-driven, culinary brand," where customers "see the food being prepared in front of them." The dining hall features an open floor plan that can seat nearly 1200 people at a time, but there are no slow, long cafeteria lines. That's because the hall relies on food preparation stations, much like a food court at a local mall. This way, large numbers of students can choose from a wide variety of offerings.

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To make it work at scale, each station makes just one main course per meal so the culinary staff can focus on preparing it well. But, with more than a dozen stations, there is no shortage of choices. Among the stations are one that is strictly gluten-free and another that is strictly vegan. There is also a kosher station that uses strict preparation techniques, and the facility even keeps a mashgiach on staff, to monitor food preparation to ensure it meets kosher standards.

Here's hoping more university students nationwide will soon join their peers at the University of Delaware in enjoying the benefits of specialty dining options that meet their individual needs.

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