When it comes to food, comfort is king at UWindsor

The University of Windsor’s Food Services division feeds 2,000 people every day, the majority of them hungry students who live in residence. The man who decides what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner is executive chef Paolo Vasapolli. He leads a team of around 120 staff, including four Red Seal-certified chefs.

Paolo took me behind the scenes and into the university’s two main food preparation areas: the massive central kitchen at Vanier Hall and the smaller kitchen attached to the CAW Student Centre, the main hub for food on campus.

The University of Windsor is a diverse community, so Paolo is always tweaking the menu to reflect those populations. For example, when a large number of Indian students lived on campus, Paolo and his team made sure to serve items such as samosas, paneer and butter chicken.

What’s the most popular food on campus?

When I asked Paolo about the top sellers on campus, his answer surprised me.

“It’s funny, you always try to create something that’s funky, that’s up to trend,” he said.

“But here on campus, the top [foods] would be pierogies, grilled cheese, chicken parm — it’s still at the top of the list — meatloaf, roast beef, roast chicken, and turkey. You can have turkey three times a week here and you’ll sell out.”

I always think of students being pretty adventurous eaters — but apparently when you’re on campus, comfort is king.

Paolo explained it to me this way: “When [students are] away from home, they’re looking for comfort food, they’re looking for what mamma makes. We try to achieve the flavors from home as best as we can … and make sure they get a great experience.”

To hear more of my conversation with Paolo, click on the audio player.

Windsor Morning6:31Food with Jonathan Pinto – UWindsor Executive Chef

This week, Jonathan met Paolo Vasapolli, the University of Windsor’s executive chef. 6:31

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