Dining Services works hard to be an engaged and integrated part of the Middlebury College community. It works closely with students on a day-to-day basis, whether by employing them in our dining halls and as summer interns, overseeing independent and group class projects, giving lectures, advising student organizations or sponsoring fundraising dinners.
Middlebury College Dining Service's manages and sponsors the student restaurant, Dolci.
Similar to restaurant dining, Dolci offers a menu from which students may choose an appetizer, soup, salad, entree and dessert of the evening. The menu is designed, cooked and served by students, working with a Dining Service Chef/Manager. These students cook and waitstaff, work side by side with Middlebury College Dining Service's own staff, learning about all aspects of food service. Middlebury College students may enjoy Dolci free of charge but has a limited number of spaces each week. Students obtain their tickets earlier in the week in anticipation for what has become a popular and refreshing break.
Middlebury College Organic Farm
Since 2003 Dining Services has worked with the Middlebury College Organic Farm. This student-initiated garden sells small quantities of freshly harvested produce throughout the growing months to Dining Services, who continue their operations for the renowned Language Schools offered at Middlebury throughout the summer. In the summer of 2013, Dining contracted MCOF to grow their largest crop of basil yet to provide pesto throughout the year.
Dining regularly employs many Middlebury students in its dining halls. Students help serve eggs-to-order in the morning, bake pastries for lunch and chop vegetables for dinner. Read about the infamous Granola Gang to get an idea of the fun and independence of being a dining hall student employee!
The summer of 2013, Dining hired 3 summer interns to work on marketing of local food in and around Middlebury. Meet them and learn more about their work in this article from the Office of Sustainability Integration!
Linking academics to operations, Dining Services worked with students and faculty to map the distance food travels from farm to plate. Using Google Earth, this group mapped the ingredients of specific Middlebury meals, including the chicken parmesan dinner.
Environmental Studies and Religion Professor Rebecca Gould collaborated with Dining to teach her students the Empathy of Food Waste and help them see the people and processes behind each bite of food they leave uneaten.
Other classroom links to food occur in the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar (ES 401) projects. In 2002, students worked on a semester long project to highlight the connections between Middlebury College and Local Vermont food providers. They worked closely with dining staff to create a website as well as a series of farmer profile posters highlighting the local Vermont producers from whom Middlebury purchases. Look out for them on the walls in all 3 dining halls! Other recent projects focusing on locally grown food include:
- Eating Local in Addison County: A Cookbook and Directory
- Local Food and the Cornwall Elementary School
- Got Local? The State of Local Food Production and Distribution in Addison County
- A Multimedia Production and Economic Analysis in Support of Local Foods for Institutions
Recent food and dining related courses include: