The Bean has made changes to its menu, focusing more on healthier, homemade choices.
Darren Grace, executive director of the World Famous Bean, said he wants to provide students with healthy food.
Grace has years of culinary training, experience in restaurant management and a willing staff to support him in this venture. He saw a need for healthier options in the Bean, so he made some drastic changes.
“When you look at processed food, it’s one of big problems that we have in the country today,” Grace said.
He decided to “clamp down” on all processed food in the Bean, even if that meant more work to make food from scratch. As an example of the difference between Bean food and processed food, he compared his in-house granola bar, which has five ingredients, to a similar Adkins Advantage bar containing 57 ingredients.
Though homemade food costs more time and money to produce, Grace knows that’s what students want to get the most out of their meal plan. He said he wants to make a product so good that students eating lunch will be excited to return for dinner.
It takes many more hours to prepare homemade meals, but the staff at the Bean is willing to do it.
“Making the students happy is more important to us than having to work a little harder to get stuff done,” Grace said.
Abby Needham, freshman nursing major from Midland, was pleasantly surprised by the number of options offered in the Bean.
“The Bean has a lot more variety and options each day than I was expecting,” Needham said. “So far I have not found one thing that I have not liked.”
While many students may not have the desire to eat healthy, most will agree that homemade food tastes better. All-natural cheese, freshly-baked desserts and house-recipe hamburger buns are just a few of the homemade options now available to students. Most of the ice cream is Blue Bell, but at least two flavors are made from scratch daily.
Grace said students can look forward to more new foods as the semester continues. There will be a weekly Chef’s Station, in which Grace takes over a station for a day, an upcoming sushi night and freshly mixed ice cream flavors prepared on a cold stone.
Chef Grace wants to hear feedback from students about the Bean’s changes, as well as other suggestions for the future. Grace can be reached at email@example.com.