Fox Ranks College Food 11th in Nation

By Katie Theiss

In a nation-wide study evaluating the dining programs of every four-year college in the U.S., Fox News has ranked the College 11th on its “52 Best Colleges for Food in America” list.

Fox cited the College’s emphasis on the origins of its food and its efforts to incorporate local ingredients into its menu items as a basis for its ranking.

Director of Dining Services Matthew Biette pointed out that the College’s location allows Dining Services to take full advantage of local sources.

“We live in an area that grows and produces many different food products, such as milk, cheese, vegetables, maple syrup, eggs and various meet cuts, and we take advantage of much of that,” said Biette.

“We aggressively spend 20 percent of our food dollars toward local products that are either produced, raised or cultivated within a 125 mile radius of the college,” added Executive Chef Bo Cleveland.

In addition to using local sources, the College’s small size creates a friendly environment in the dining halls and contributes to its national recognition as one of the top collegiate dining services program.

“We are a small enough college where we can learn your name and recognize your face when we see you enter the dining halls,” said Cleveland. “I think that we convey a sense of community here that you are a part of while you are away from home. We also are a small enough department [that] we are able to more effectively react to suggestions, concerns and recommendations about ingredients, recipes, and menus.”

The kitchen staff also prepares special dishes for those with dietary restrictions, another element of the Dining Services program that some students say adds to the community feel of the College’s dining halls.

“As a gluten-free eater, I really appreciate the fact that the dining staff is so approachable and accommodating to my food allergy,” said Alyssa DiMaio, ’15.

Cleveland pointed to his staff members as the reason for the strength of the College’s Dining Services program.

“I really think that we are fortunate to have a Dining department that is comprised of individuals who are committed to enhancing your Middlebury College experience through the food and friendly service you receive in the Dining Halls,” said Cleveland.