Dining Hall Hacks from Boarding School Pros

Since the dining hall produces the set menu for the day, there are not many other options besides the food put out. It may not satisfy everyone’s appetite or dietary needs, but some of our creative community members have made up their own meals to fuel themselves when they are not particular craving the food.

Hana Naughton, a junior boarder, has a dessert combination and a rice bowl recipe.

“I really like to put lucky charms on the top of my ice-cream on Sunday night dinner,” she said. “I make rice bowls in dining when the food is particularly bad. I’ll put rice, whatever veggies the dining hall has that day, and some stuff from the salad bar, with whatever sauce that matches the flavor profile of the ingredients in the bowl.”

Giana Langone ‘22, senior boarder, has a go-to sauce she loves to make that elevates simple foods.

“I make spicy mayonnaise, I mix it in my rice and eat it with my grilled cheese,” she said. “I make spicy mayonnaise by mixing siracha and mayonnaise together.”

I have been a boarding student for six year now and know my way around a dining hall. Here are some recipes I have curated over the years:

  • Rice with soy sauce and furikake seasoning
  • Sautéed mushroom with butter: Get a bowl of mushrooms from the salad bar, some butter, melt the butter in the microwave, season with salt and pepper
  • Rice mixed with tuna, mayonnaise, siracha and soy sauce, season with pepper (add avocado if available
  • Cheese topped rice: In the bottom of a bowl sprinkle as much shredded cheese as you want, pack white rice into the bowl and let the heat melt the cheese, flip the bowl over on a plate and there will be a mountain of rice topped with melted cheese

If you wanted to try a more professional combination, Christopher Couchon, general manager of the dining service here at Williston, has some delicious combinations that he thinks everyone should give a try, including copy cat Taco bell cheesy gordita crunch.

“First you gotta get the soft tortillas. Get a little sour cream on them. Maybe a little shredded cheese and then go back to the grill and get two hard tacos. Add your toppings,” he said. “Wrap that hard taco up in the soft shell and you immediately have a cheesy Gordita Crunch. Keeps the hard taco from disintegrating and allows for sour cream (which is my favorite taco topping) in every bite.”

He also has a recipe for a homemade quesadillas.

“You could also get a soft taco and an extra soft tortilla,” Couchon said. “Spread the meat completely along one flat tortilla. Top with toppings and another tortilla. Pop that in the panini press. Custom grilled quesadilla.”