Executive Chef Mayet Cristobal shared her appreciation for this mild relative of the onion in California Bountiful magazine
How We Cook
Our kitchen philosophy is simple. We cook from scratch using fresh, authentic ingredients. We start with food in its simplest, most natural form. We have no corporate recipes. Our freezers are small, and our deliveries of fresh, seasonal produce and whole foods are big.
We care about our guests. By its nature, the act of feeding people is an intimate one — or at least it should be. We care about what you like, and we also care about your health. We know which cooking techniques preserve flavor and nutrition to produce healthy, delicious dishes. Our global cuisine is crafted through hands-on trainings by chefs who grew up eating a particular cuisine. The flavors are vibrant, and they are authentic.
Every person at this company — from the grill person to our managers all the way up to our CEO — has a sincere passion for great food. It is our daily focus.
Our teams follow these kitchen principles to assure the highest level of food quality and the most flavorful, nutritious options for our guests. Menus are written based on seasonality and availability of regional fresh product. Whenever possible, these are produced locally using sustainable and organic practices. Salsas, pizza, marinara, and other sauces are made from scratch, as are stocks, soups, and salad dressings. And the list goes on.
Nutritious — and delicious
We take a macro view of wellness, believing that our guests’ well-being depends on not just a few healthy menu choices, but ones that also contribute to a healthy environment and community. Some of our guests are extremely well-informed about what dietary choices work best for them. Others need our help navigating the many options available to them daily in our cafés.
Our locations’ menus may differ widely, but they all adhere to these guidelines:
- Healthy menu items are mainstream offerings throughout our cafés. You won’t have to hunt for them. And just because they’re virtuous doesn’t mean you’ll feel deprived eating them — all our healthy options are flavorful and presented with strong eye appeal to encourage those selections.
- Our menus emphasize the use of fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains as a featured ingredient. Our first choice is to use locally and sustainably produced items.
- Our chefs practice “stealth” nutrition, using healthy cooking techniques and ingredients in everyday food preparation.
- We serve reasonable portion sizes based on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
- Menu icons (In Balance, Vegan, Vegetarian, Well-Being, and Made without Gluten) are used consistently to denote foods with particular nutritional qualities.
VEGETARIAN- AND VEGAN-FRIENDLY
Bon Appétit Management Company was born in the San Francisco Bay Area, and as a result we’ve always been ahead of the curve when it comes to offering plentiful vegetarian and vegan options at our cafés. Our chefs love the challenge of serving up plentiful interesting offerings suited to flexitarians, pescaterians, vegan-before-6ers, and pleather-booted PETA members at every meal, without relying on corporate recipes.
We’ve long conducted “vegan culinary boot camps” across the country to train our chefs to think beyond the salad bar and take inspiration internationally. (Thai pesto, anyone?) Multiple Bon Appétit university cafés are fully vegan or vegetarian, with unique and ever-changing menus. All of our cafés use color-coded stickers to identify items that are vegetarian and/or vegan.
In fact, more of our schools appeared on Peta2’s list of top vegan-friendly colleges than any other food service provider, with Wesleyan University at #1, Oberlin College at #2, and Andrews University at #4.