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Grilling the Chef: Midland University’s Main Ingredient

Grilling the Chef: Midland University’s Main Ingredient

Jul 19th , 2018

Chef Jay Choate pours pride and passion into the food he prepares for students at Midland University, holding firm to a belief that food can be a sanctuary for people.

“It takes a special breed to be able to not just mass-produce, but to try and offer quality and value in the food served to that large of a group,” said Chef Jay. “There’s a lot of love that goes into it. That’s the main ingredient – the love that goes into the food. That’s a passion I most definitely have.”

As a Fresh Ideas employee, Chef Jay recently competed for bragging rights and a coveted trophy with over 16 chefs as part of the Fresh Ideas Food Service Management Copper Pot challenge. The competition highlights the company’s talented culinary workforce. Of the accomplished competitors, Chef Jay prevailed with his dish featuring Trout Roulade stuffed with yellow cauliflower vegetable medley, roasted purple cauliflower, and a classic lemon beurre blanc.

Choate came to Midland University as part of Fresh Ideas in February of 2017. “I love the students, faculty, and staff here,” shared Choate.

The Missouri-based food service company is committed to providing its customers with an incredible experience. Fresh Ideas offers flexibility and innovation to the university by way of their proprietary Fresh X app, which makes checking into the dining hall quick and easy for students. Before entering the cafeteria, students can access their accounts for real-time data on account balances, daily specials, and nutrition information.

Midland completed their $1.5 million dining hall renovation last summer as a part of their commitment to investing in the student experience. The dining hall now provides students with a comfortable, modern place to eat, share, and enjoy time with friends. Nine-foot oak tables and large booths adorn the modern updated setting.

Students can also personalize their food choices with the convenience of a variety of serving stations, and healthy food options, such as the Foodie Bar, Fresh Fusion or the Wood-stone pizza oven. “We all sit down to eat,” explains Chef Jay. “Hopefully we have people around us to share in that experience. Relationships are built around tables.”