“I told everyone… I’m going to put a cot in my office and live here now.”
These were Chad’s first words as he walked into his new kingdom. Ursuline’s new-and-improved Haggar now holds the name “Fox Family Dining Hall.”
The new dining hall has been expanded by 4,000 feet, allowing A, B and C lunch to be consolidated into just A and B lunch. New additions include a deli bar and beverage bar, along with a brand-new kitchen.
Now beginning his fourth year at Ursuline, Chad Nielson said, “I like to call myself a senior!”
He began as a cook and now continues his third year of being the Food Service Director at Ursuline. The new kitchen in Fox Dining Hall is six times bigger than the kitchen in Haggar. In Haggar, all supplies and ingredients were within a reachable distance, but now Chad said all of the kitchen staff “walks an average of seven miles” each day in the kitchen.
“There is so much more capability for new food… so much opportunity,” Chad said after describing what he was most excited about in the new kitchen. He enjoys making build-your-own stations at lunch, where there are 20 different toppings and 10 different sauces.
“It lets us play around,” he said, “and also acts as a way for you—students—to make your own food.” Some of the build-your-own menu items include an avocado toast bar, a build-your-own sandwich bar, a soft-pretzel bar and even a bubble tea bar.
This year, one of Chad’s main projects is to expand the beverage selection in the dining hall. On the beverage counter, there are assorted flavors of spa water, including strawberry basil, lemon rosemary and watermelon.
Another addition coming to the beverage counter is a coffee bar. There will be many different coffee flavors, along with the necessities like milk, cream and sugar.
Just last month, juniors Holly Kaighan and Sabrina Rameriz collaborated with Chad to feature a Baja Blast drink on the beverage counter. The bright blue drink was said to be a big hit and tasted just like Taco Bell’s signature item. Students love Chad’s openness to their ideas, and his creativity has made lunch at Ursuline better than ever.
The feedback from students and teachers about the Fox Family Dining Hall has been nothing but positive.
“It’s a beautiful cafeteria. I love the open kitchen and the use of color is great. It looks completely brand new,” Dr. Surmiller said. Students say this year they really love the food from SAGE and even seniors have been staying on campus for lunch so they can eat in Fox.
“I love going to Fox Dining Hall each day and seeing what Chad has prepared for lunch. There is always something different on the menu and the food never disappoints,” Tori Wasinger said.
Senior Avery Zulick said, “It almost feels like we are at a college campus! Everything is so new and updated, and going to lunch is now so much more fun.”
One of the biggest hits of the new dining hall has been the spa water. It was served in Haggar, and its flavors have expanded.
Senior Grace Lamont said, “My favorite part of Fox is definitely the assortment of spa water—it is so fun coming to school in the morning and seeing what flavors there are each day.”
Fox definitely has proven to be a big change from Haggar, but Chad said, “We were, as a group, really surprised and proud for how much of an easy transition it was for everyone. We are really grateful.”