According to director of Dining Services at Hudson Valley John Poole, the preparation for the pulled pork and brisket specials typically starts on Tuesday because making them up to students’ standards takes longer.
They have to unpack, age, and dry the meats, create and add the rub, and leave it overnight. The next day, everything is smoked in the ovens for nine hours at 225 degrees which, “tenderizes the meat and makes it able to stay juicy,” said Poole.
“I think [the food] is actually very good. I’m actually very surprised because I hear that people in community colleges and four year colleges don’t think that the food is very great, but I think it’s really good here,” said Katie Pozzi, a business administration student.
“It’s a lot better than high school,” added Courtney Newcomb, a business marketing student. “The food is actually prepared well, and it looks like something my mom would make, so it’s really good.”
The Hudson Valley Chartwells program plans to keep the brisket and pulled pork on the menu for the rest of the semester. Poole hopes students and faculty will give either of the dishes a try. “We look at things that are a little bit different, but still familiar. A lot of students haven’t had brisket before, but they’ve had beef, and not a lot have had pulled pork before, but they’ve had ribs or pork chops, so it’s not completely different,” said Poole.
With a variety of options like pizza, a burrito bar, mac and cheeseology, salads, sandwiches, and the newly-added pulled pork and beef brisket, some students are pleased with both the convenience and tastes of campus dining. Some students report that they started eating on campus because of the convenience, but then the quality of the food kept them coming back.
Poole expressed that Chartwells’ goal is to provide a high quality meal to students at reasonable prices.
He believes that implementing a diverse food selection will increase students’ overall experience with Hudson Valley’s dining program. “When we pick a new special, we try to see what’s popular or trending, and we ask students what they would like to see added to the menu. Ultimately, they’re the consumers,” said Poole.