Showcasing our services
Last August 28th, 2012, McGill Food and Dining Services, along with 250 volunteers including students, staff, and faculty members, took to their knifes and cutting boards, breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest fruit salad.
Weighing in at over 11,000 pounds, the fruitful initiative was led by Mathieu LaPerle, Director of Food and Dining Services, Executive Chef, OliverDeVolpi and the MFDS team, in an effort to promote community engagement, sustainable practices – such as buying local products– and healthy eating.
In all, some 5,000 pounds of watermelon, 1,300 pounds of cantaloupe, 1,000 pounds of honeydew, 2,250 pounds of pineapple, 220 pounds of apples and 360 pounds of strawberries were used in the record-breaking bounty with more than 60% of the fruit being harvested at McGill’s own Macdonald Campus Farm.
A portion of the salad was sold in McGill cafeterias with proceeds donated to Centraide. Montreal charities, including Moisson Montréal, the Old Brewery Mission, Dans la Rue, Welcome Hall Mission and Meals on Wheels, were also able to benefit from the flavorful endeavor.
The event generated interest in local communities and across the country. To find out more, please consult the following videos and newspaper articles.
The 2010 CCUFSA National Conference (Canadian College and University Food Service Association) which took place last June 29 to July 3rd 2010 was co-hosted by UQAM and McGill University. This was the first time the National Conference was held in Quebec and, on July 1st, our University hosted the Chef’s competition in the Royal Victoria College Dining Hall.
Our peers from across the country were able to enjoy the overall dining experience of residential students in our newly renovated and comfortable eating facility which features a fresh and modern design.
The Reception called The Chefs Competition, had four teams from different Canadian Universities: Massachusetts Amherst University (UMASS), McGill University, Queens University, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). The teams were judged by three professional judges from the food industry and by the “People’s Choice Award.”
All teams were required to prepare a complete meal for 200 guests which used high-end ingredients combined with local food products from Quebec: The meal consisted of one appetizer (cold or hot or combination of both), one entrée (hot) + vegetarian option, and one dessert (cold or hot or combination of both).
The scoring criteria were based on the following:
- Resourcefulness - the selection of the menu item (10%)
- First Impression (10%)
- Professional Techniques and Skills (20%)
- Presentation (15%)
- Flavor/Taste (20%)
- Judges Adjustment (5%)
Helping in times of need
For the occasion, Oliver De Volpi (Executive Chef at McGill), assisted by Daniel Poulin (Executive Chef for Aramark at McGill), John DeBraga and Erin Whiltshire prepared:
Appetizer: Shredded Slow Cooked Bison Short Ribs, Zucchini Blossoms and Goat Cheese Gratin, Alexis de Port Neuf Lollipop
- Entree: Butter Poached Québec Lobster, Baby Spinach and Celeriac Puree, Bubbly Sauce
Vegetarian option: Quinoa and Bulgur Risotto, Chanterelle Mushrooms and Jerusalem Artichoke Dauphinois, Crispy Chips, Stouffer's Selection Red Pepper Sauce and Arugula Pesto.
- Dessert: Intense Nestle Dark Molten Chocolate Cake, Quebec Maple Strawberry and Basil Salpicon, Mascarpone Mousse, Strawberry and Basil Coulis
The results of the competition awarded UQAM with the “Judges Award.”
McGill University, won the “People’s Choice Award” (unanimous vote!)at its first Culinary Competition.
MFDS is proud to be honored for the dedicated work and the commitment of our employees resulting in a successful first competition. Moreover, our new main Food Provider, Aramark, exceeded expectations with a wonderful Reception Cocktail at RVC. The event proved that united forces and finest skills within McGill Food and Dining Services have benefited the McGill Community.
"I think that this kind of competition, very fashionable on the specialty television channels, is excellent for our institution because it is not only fun but allows us to strive to do us best and establish relationships between McGill and the other university food services. The event helped us to learn things from each other. The ultimate goal for MFDS is to prepare great food with a local twist for the McGill community.” said Oliver De Volpi, Executive Chef at McGill University.
“In addition, others universities within Canada and, especially, the Executive Board of CCUFSA were impressed by the achievement of our food service since the creation of the new unit under SLL a year ago, and that it’s all for the benefit of our community!” said Mathieu Laperle, Director Food and Dining Services at McGill University .
On October 19, 2010 McGill University participated in a culinary event at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This event brought together nine chefs from the universities of British Columbia, Western Ontario, Guelph and McGill University where regional specialties were showcased for all UMass students.
MFDS's Executive Chef, Oliver De Volpi featured his famous braised beef short rib paté chinois with roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Chefs John DeBraga and Erin Whiltshire were also on hand for the celebration.
The event was part of UMass Dining Services’ Visiting College Chef Series.
"This is the first time for us to invite four Canadian university chefs at one time to join us for this special event," says Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst. "It will probably be a ‘first’ for the nine Canadian chefs to all be cooking together at an American university."
What an honor to have been invited to participate and to share with our fellow university of the South some Canadian cuisine!
For a second consecutive year, our Executive Chef, Oliver De Volpi will participate in the Gala des Grands Chefs de Montreal, a fundraising event for the Canadian Cancer Society. More detailed information on this exciting event will be posted soon.
Mathieu Laperle, Director of Food and Dining Services and Oliver De Volpi, our Executive Chef, were speakers at the SIAL conference> last April 2010. SIAL is one of the largest international tradeshow dedicated to food industry professionals which targets the North American market.
Their presentation touched upon the new sustainable initiatives taken thus far by McGill Food and Dining Services.
Please consult the powerpoint presentation for more details. A Sustainable New Vision for Institutional Food Service [.pdf]