New Management, Chef and Dining Services Setup Coming to "the Caf"
Jamie M. Eubanks
JSU News Bureau
JACKSONVILLE -- April 25, 2001 -- For 11 years, Noah Rucker has served as General Manager of Dining Services at Jacksonville State University. Now, he is passing the torch to Jacksonville native Scott Williams.
Rucker will soon celebrate his 25th anniversary with Sodexho Marriott Services. Now, he says, it's time to retire. But he is not leaving the profession completely.
He will move closer to family and assume a similar job there. His final day with JSU will be Friday, April 27.
Williams, who is a graduate of JSU, returned to JSU after working with Marriott for more than ten years in Arkansas, South Carolina and other states across the U.S. But family, friends and a love for the people in Jacksonville drew him and his family back.
For four years, he has served as Marriott's Food Manager at JSU. Now, Williams looks forward to becoming JSU's new Dining Services General Manager.
"I also look forward to working with the people here," says Williams. "And with the new dining room, we'll be able to offer a multitude of different services."
This new dining room in Jack Hopper Dining Hall, also known by students as "the caf," is a project that Rucker hates to leave. But Williams is very proud of the facility.
"It's like having a new baby and not getting to play with him," comments Rucker.
New services that will be offered in "the caf" will include a display cooking area complete with grill fronts where you can watch the chef prepare your hamburger. The salad bar will still have its place, but will be larger and in a circular design. This will allow salads to be hand-tossed right in front of diners.
"This setup allows for personal contact between the students and the person preparing the food," states Williams.
This one-on-one interaction will also make it possible for students to special order items from the menu. For example, a student could order an omelet for breakfast just the way he or she likes it.
"Italian foods are very popular with our students, right now," says Williams. Therefore, "the caf" will offer an Italian section complete with pasta and other Italian treats.
Currently, Williams is interviewing applicants for a chef position in the caf. The applicants being considered have amazing credentials, such as degrees from Nashville's Culinary Academy.
Williams hopes the renovations will be complete by early- to mid-June.
"We really want to have them completed for the summer camps that are held on campus," says Williams. "And we would like to offer these services for orientation dates."
By allowing students to experience the new and improved dining hall during orientation, Williams hopes these students will be more influenced to choose JSU.
And while these improvements are costly, meal tickets and walk-in prices won't change drastically.
"Essentially, the cost of living will be the factor that will raise the price of meals," states Rucker.
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