Duquesne Dining presents new nutrition for students

Samantha Hauck | Staff Writer | Chicken pasta primavera is served with a garden salad, sugar snap peas and carrots at Hogan Dining Center's new Inspired Eats section. Inspired Eats is committed to delivering tasty, allergen-free foods to students.

Samantha Hauck | Staff Writer

Sept. 1, 2022

This school year, Duquesne Dining has added new options and brought back others for students that haven’t been available since the 2019-20 academic year.

Duquesne Dining has taken student input into consideration, and some options that were discontinued have made a comeback for the 2022-23 school year.

The news was announced Duquesne Dining’s Instagram account. The Parkhurst Dining organization is in charge of making these changes happen for Duquesne University.

According to Duquesne Dining, changes include an updated menu, adding more meal swipe options, extended dining hours, a pasta bar and more locations that are available for online ordering.

Parkhurst employees like Nick Marcarelli (resident direct manager) and Christopher Novak (marketing manager) have helped implement the new additions.

“This summer, we were hard at work creating new menus, adding stations and implementing new programs,” Marcarelli said.

Two new additions were NOODLE, the pasta bar back by popular demand, and an Inspired Eats section that tailors to students’ dietary needs.

“First, we added a new Inspired Eats,” Marcarelli said. “It serves hot entrees and hot and cold sides that are completely free of the top-nine allergens for lunch and dinner seven days a week.”

Parkhurst has also expanded on some already-present options in the dining hall.

Stations like the salad bar in Hogan Dining Center have been updated.

“We’ve expanded the salad bar’s rotating-themed menu offering,” Marcarelli said. “After receiving great feedback last semester with its introduction, we’re adding a wider variety of fresh choices, and themed topping combinations, such as southwestern, Mediterranean, Asian fusion and more.”

New changes have not just been added to make students’ stomachs happy, but to try to make things easier as well. Hogan has made its menu easier to read by having a simpler background and larger fonts.

This menu can be seen on various screens throughout Hogan, and is also made simple on the FoodU app. FoodU is a free mobile app that allows students to see the hours each dining option is open, and some menus of each dining location.

Rather than just using a meal swipe at Hogan, students can now go to other locations to use as well. Meal swipes are valid at The Incline for purchases under $8. At the Campus Market, students can now get a late-night hot meal using a meal swipe from 7:30 to 11 p.m.

Many students expressed their want for Duquesne Dining locations to expand their hours. Cinco Cantina, Connections, Business Leader Bistro and Fisher Market have adjusted to these wishes. Cinco Cantina has extended its hours by only accepting mobile orders from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Other locations like Connections, Business Leader Bistro and Fisher Market have adjusted their hours to be open in accordance with full building hours and beyond with a new self-checkout service, in use at all of the locations, in addition to Campus Market.

And pasta bar is back by popular demand at Hogan.

“We have brought back a favorite that upperclassmen and faculty may remember — an updated version of our made-to-order pasta station, NOODLE,” Marcarelli said. “It features a rotating selection of proteins and veggies that guests can choose from, which are then tossed and sauced to their liking.”

Students like senior Rachel Means are thrilled to have some old favorites back.

“The new additions to Hogan have been great,” Means said. “I’ve enjoyed the pasta bar being brought back since the last time it was open was during my freshman year.”

All of these changes were considered after sending out surveys to students in an effort to pay better attention to their needs. The goal was to provide specific needs for all students, so that everyone can find an option that suits them.

“Our chefs and dining professionals know that more students today have specific dietary needs that may be restrictive,” Novak said. “Therefore, the concept for V2 (vegan and vegetarian) last year, then Inspired Eats (allergy-free) this semester became a necessity.”

Marcarelli and Novak put in work over the summer to develop the new menu and program for Inspired Eats. According to Novak, it was a tough but rewarding process.

“Being allergy-free is more than just cooking without the top-nine allergens, it’s making them taste great too,” Novak said. “So, our chefs spent the summer testing new recipes and training our staff on the safety and procedures necessary to serve our guests safely.”

All Hogan Dining chefs, managers and supervisors are AllerTrain certified. AllerTrain is an industry leader for those that deal with food allergies and gluten-free menus.

Both Marcarelli and Novak thought that these changes were important and crucial to the students at Duquesne. Novak said that food and mealtime is a bonding experience for students.

“For freshmen, it’s meeting new friends and classmates, and meeting over food is a great buffer for any new, exciting or nerve-wracking experience,” Novak said. “For upperclassmen, it’s a way to bond over last year’s experiences and plot out your plans for the semester.”

New students like freshman, Skyler Henshaw, eat at Hogan on a daily basis, and she enjoys the variety of choices available.

“I like the options where you actually make your own decisions of what you want,” Henshaw said. “Like the panini press, for example, because you make your own.”

Follow @duquesnedining on Instagram to keep in touch with new events and options. There will be a Labor Day barbecue at Hogan on Monday, and Hershey’s Milkshakes will be available at Hogan on Sept. 12. Outside of Hogan, fall drinks are now available at the Starbucks location in the Student Union.

“No matter the dietary need, our guests will be able to find something that suits them at Hogan Dining Center, and they’ll never miss out on the opportunity to connect with friends and classmates,” Novak said.