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Dining halls go meatless for Lenten season

Jen Rowling | Friday, February 27, 2004

Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent and the end of meat on Fridays, as the University’s dining halls replaced sauted meat, stir-fry and rotisserie chicken with items such as eggs, fish and grilled vegetables.

Notre Dame’s staff began preparation for the Lenten Season in October. Tony Williams, South Dining Hall unit chef, attended a culinary academy in New York, where he learned preparation for various vegetable medleys, cornbreads and tofu. These new platters are being prepared and will be served in the dining halls to replace meat dishes.

Williams said the meals being served will include cheese dishes, fish, vegetables, grilled pizzas and breakfast items such as eggs and hash browns. In addition, the popular mozzarella breadsticks will be seen more often.

Williams said students should be creative with their food selections, suggesting stir-fry, a collection of vegetables or tofu” and saying that chefs are willing to fry or help with any new platter creations.

“By the third meal, you’re grumpy,” he said. “People will go off campus,”

Williams suggested that students give the dining hall staff feedback on meals they enjoyed by filling out surveys. He said student input is valued and shared at weekly Food Services meetings.

While students will face a more limited food selection during Lenten Fridays, Williams said they can look forward to Easter dinner at South Dining Hall, which will feature lamb, chicken, fish, baked ham, rice pilaf and vegetable medley.

While the dining halls will be meatless, Reckers and Lafortune will continue to carry their regular products.

Notre Dame’s close adherence to the Catholic Church policies has created divergent viewpoints within the student body.

“If you are Catholic, you can choose not to eat meat; they can at least put smaller portions of meat out for those who do not choose to fast,” sophomore Kate Lorenz said.

Sophomore Craig Brede said he supports the Notre Dame food policy of not serving meat.

“People choose to come here, so when you choose this school, you’re pretty much choosing to accept some Catholic practices,” Brede said.