A New Ingredient in Geneva Food Service - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Campus Life
December 7, 2017

A New Ingredient in Geneva Food Service

The campus food service at Geneva College is now in the very skilled hands of new Head Chef Tom Schlotter of Pioneer Catering, straight from the renowned kitchen of Shakespeare's Restaurant at Olde Stonewall Golf Club.

Schlotter has more than 30 years’ experience in restaurant and campus food service, but he brings a new perspective to food preparation and presentation that will benefit all students, faculty and staff at the college.

“So far, I am just trying to feel out what the students like,” he says. He is adding fresh elements to the menu of Alexander Dining Hall, like a delicious mango salsa, and plans for new creative options. “We are going to start providing custom chef creations and give them more options to add to their standard fare.”

Schlotter believes it is necessary to add a “wow factor” to the food. “The food is good, but I want to present it to the students in a way that makes them really enjoy eating here,” he explains. With that in mind, he has introduced live cooking demonstrations to get students more interested in their food and how it is prepared.

With the pressures and constraints on students, they occasionally opt for fast food down the street. Schlotter wants to make sure they don’t miss out on the more nutritious and healthier meals he and his team are preparing.

The kitchen can also be a place for fun and learning, Schlotter says. He is looking to provide students with opportunities to participate in events to test their cooking skills. “Having an event to bring students to Alex’s and allow them to have fun while learning – like you might see on the TV cooking show ‘Chopped’ – would be different and exciting,” he says. “I think students would get behind that idea.”

Schlotter’s culinary journey started 30 years ago as a cook at the Beaver Falls Eat’n Park. He recalls the satisfaction he felt when making others happy with food, and he continued to pursue this feeling by going to culinary school and sharpening his skills in the restaurant business.

The chef also worked in the AVI System at Slippery Rock University for seven years, which gave him experience in cafeteria food service at a higher education institution. Coming to Geneva was timely and allows him to better balance work and home life, following the pace at Shakespeare's. “With the days I work here, I get a moment to spend more time with my grandchildren, and that’s a blessing,” he says.

Geneva offers several meal plan options for students that are designed to accommodate both first-year students and upperclassmen. At each meal are a wide variety of foods available, including foods for those with special dietary needs. To learn more about attending Geneva College, contact Admissions at 800.847-8255 or admissions@geneva.edu.

- Gregory Beechaum, Jr. '18