Going ‘clean’: Parkhurst opens Clean Plate Station

Hoernemann Refectory is a trend setter. Heidelberg’s main dining hall is only the second Parkhurst dining facility to have a full-blown Clean Plate Station, offering to students, the campus and the Tiffin community menu items that are gluten-free and do not include seven of the “big eight” food allergens.

The seven food allergens always controlled/excluded at the Clean Plate Station are dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shell fish, fish and wheat. The station is self-contained with designated storage, equipment and utensils so the risk of cross-contact from non-allergen-free menu items can be prevented.

The Clean Plate Station, which opened at the beginning of this semester, is entirely new to the area, which makes it that much more exciting.

By all accounts, the Clean Plate Station has been very well received. It’s been busier than anticipated as students and Parkhurst Dining learn how it works alongside each other.

Currently, the Clean Plate Station is open five days a week, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., offering a minimum of two completely different meals every day. It’s as much about the food as it is about an awareness of healthy eating.

The Parkhurst team welcomes conversations and questions about service and interaction with the culinary team. The Clean Plate Station is about more than the food; it is about the service and confidence Parkhurst provides to students and their families that they are eating safely, especially those students with food allergies and sensitivities away from home.

Parkhurst Dining has a philosophy of clean cooking, utilizing fresh and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. The Clean Plate Station is an extension of that, raising awareness about options to eat healthier.

People of all walks are taking notice. Student-athletes have found it appealing as have those who eat normal diets and don’t have food allergies. And, the external community is welcome to experience the Clean Plate Station as well.

With healthier eating trending these days, the Clean Plate Station fills a niche at Heidelberg. It also provides opportunities to create a lot of “pop-ups” – themed menu options featuring different ethnic foods. Menu selections change day to day.

The Clean Plate Station is ever-changing. The food prep team and Executive Chef Rob are open to suggestions. Students are also encouraged to use Parkhurst’s FoodU app to interact with the team.

The Clean Plate Station is yet another example of the strong partnership between Parkhurst and Heidelberg.

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