Good Food on Campus: Student Cooks Create Fresh Dishes from Scratch

Graduate student working in University Culinary Services invites students to explore the options before passing judgment

March is National Nutrition Month. For this series of stories, Kent State Today interviewed people working in University Culinary Services about the many dining options available to students.

Khutso Ledwaba is a graduate student studying business analytics. He comes to Kent State from Pretoria, South Africa. When we spoke with him, he was a student manager in the Design Innovation Dining facility in the DI Hub, responsible for serving food and supervising different food stations.

Executive Chef Ed Hardin and a student worker

Executive Chef Edward Shawn Hardin Sr. and a student cook at the Homezone station. 

Exploring food options

As a student, he has heard other students complaining about the food on campus. Ledwaba suspects that some of these people haven’t really explored all of the options. “I would say that they need to try it before they start talking,” he said. “Because the food here is pretty good. We eat here, as well, between our breaks, and we wouldn’t eat it if it wasn’t good. So, I feel they just need to come out and definitely give it more of a try.”

Ledwaba also talked about how the food he prepares is made from scratch. “Especially with the breakfast, we make omelets from scratch along with eggs and sausages,” he said. “At lunch, when you make Philly steaks, it’s all made from fresh beef, fresh mushrooms and fresh vegetables. We just bring in the bread.”

“We prepare the food to be the best and as fresh as you can get anywhere else.”

His favorites

As for his favorites, Ledwaba said his favorite thing to make is pancakes and his favorite things to eat are the omelets and the chicken tenders.

DI Hub breakfast options

Special restrictions

For people who have dietary restrictions or may just be “picky” eaters, Ledwaba said “For them, we are a caterer. We cater to them with different stations. We have the vegan station, we have the gluten-friendly station, we have the Homezone and the grill, which are more for everybody. And then we have small stations like desserts.”

DI Hub gelato

“We serve Indian food varieties like samosas as well as dishes from Latin American culture. We have a wide variety of cultures across campus.”

‘There is something for everybody over here.’

POSTED: Wednesday, March 29, 2023 03:27 PM
Updated: Monday, April 17, 2023 11:28 AM
Phil B. Soencksen