Awards & Recognition
The Four Parts
Meet the Ondrias
The Farm Crew
Farm & Food 101
Family Farm Forum
A Talk with Dave & Cindy Ondria
GMC Chef Dave Ondria and Assistant Director of Dining Services Cindy Ondria, of the Chartwells Company, describe their work with students to bring more local and sustainable food to the college
Please describe your role with the GMC Farm & Food Project. How has this transformed over the past few years?
We have worked closely with the students and staff over the past few years on various events relating to the GMC Farm & Food Project. We have sponsored workshops and participated in classroom projects. We try to incorporate the farm items into our everyday food whenever possible. We gladly accept whatever foods the farm can produce and love when we can serve it in the dining hall. As the years go by it seems as though we are only scratching the surface. We are continuously learning more on the impact of local foods and how we can integrate them into programming and the school’s mission.
How often is local food utilized in the dining hall?
We are currently at a 12% local usage of all foods purchased.
What local foods are utilized?
At this point in time
Dairy products, turkey, potatoes, bread, apples, eggs, and maple syrup
What are a few of the most memorable local food events that have taken place in the dining hall?
The most memorable was the lamb dinner in 2004 where we had the GMC lambs slaughtered locally and served them in the dining hall. The Five Farms in Five Days event was also a hit. Any event where there is student involvement and we have the opportunity to work side by side with the students is memorable.
What do you see as opportunities and challenges associated with the use of local foods in the dining hall?
Challenges include the availability of product, quality of product, quantity of product, transportation of
product and educating staff toward the production of the product. Opportunities include student involvement, environmental benefits and local economic development. The dining hall can be used as a common ground classroom for sampling foods of different cultures and food needs.
What is your vision for the future of local food served in the dining hall?
Our vision is to be able to utilize more production from the Cerridwen Farm. We would love to see more
student interaction, more development of foods that are obtainable during the college semesters. Also
addressing what foods make sense during the non growing season.