Starting in the spring of 2020, the TMCC Cafe will start to implement several new initiatives which will include new menus, weekly specials, updated spaces, and fun (read: delicious) events.
“From the first week of the spring semester, we’re going to start implementing a more healthy and integrated cafe,” said Nancy Thiele, Program Director of Auxiliary Services. In addition to new menus, the cafe will begin the first phase of the transformation of its physical space. Construction began on Jan. 15 to the area to the West of the cafe (which will receive a new floor, new paint, and furniture). The updated look will give the cafe in ambiance what it hopes to achieve in spirit: the feeling of a TMCC Cafe and not a generic cafeteria.
These changes come in tandem with the hire of Cafe Manager Christopher Schiavone. Schiavone oversees the food service program, which includes all operations in the TMCC Cafe, the coffee bar located in the lobby of the Sierra building and any on-campus events that are catered.
Schiavone comes from an extensive food and beverage management background. His cooking originated from classic European cuisine, which he learned by cooking on a farm in France during his youth. This experience inspired him to expand his appreciation of international cooking styles as he honed his cooking skills at restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Reno.
“Ultimately, I want TMCC to have an integrated cafe with healthy, fresh food in addition to the grill,” said Schiavone who explained that students and staff can expect to see more wholesome ingredients in the cafe’s offerings, and a definite reduction of high-sugar energy drinks.
“I’m looking to add a new angle to the coffee cart,” he said. “I want to make it a coffee bar, but that offers lavender tea, and chai tea in addition to the regular offerings. Basically, I want us to follow the current culinary trends.”
For the cafe, “following the culinary trends” will mean that there will be rice bowls, fresh vegetables and gourmet pizza on the menu every day. The salad bar will be extended to include a “build a bowl” station where rice, various proteins, and sauces will enable cafe-goers to personalize their options with something healthy, unique and delicious.
Got a late class? Schiavone will have healthy frozen options available after the remodel that students can reheat in the microwaves located by the registers.
“The goal is to offer quality food in a setting that gives our students, faculty, and staff a sense of value,” said Schiavone. “We’re definitely going to look for feedback during this transition period.”
Schiavone is eager to accommodate the varied tastes of the TMCC staff and students. “I get to cook, and that’s nice,” he said of his long career in food service, and what he plans to bring to the table at TMCC. “I like cooking international foods, and I love the diversity of food and what you can do with it.” His goal is to offer hearty homestyle dishes as well as bringing a fresh and healthy approach to the TMCC campus.