Diners returning to U of T Mississauga this fall will notice some major changes to food services around campus, beginning with the Food Court, which launched this week in the newly-renovated heart of the Davis Building. Following a week-long soft opening, the new Food Court officially launched on Thursday, Sept. 5, just in time for the first day of classes.
In the new space, diners will find old favourites alongside new outlets and expanded options to suit every taste and dietary requirement. The new menu also reflects the international influences of Chartwells culinary director Donna Tobias, whose training includes a stint at the Dubai Hilton under celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. “We wanted to create options that reflected what the UTM community wanted, but also what’s trending on the street,” Tobias says. “You don’t have to go off campus to have a great meal.”
“Feedback from the UTM community played a big part in developing the revised food lineup,” says UTM Hospitality & Retail Services director Vicky Jezierski. “Time after time, we heard that students wanted Asian and Mexican flavours, and customizable meals. Until now, we couldn’t cook in the Food Court, but with our new top-of-the-line equipment we can offer made-to-order Asian dishes, personalized burgers and expanded options for diners.”
Two new chain restaurants—Thai Express and Canadian burger favourite Harvey’s—join the Food Court line-up, alongside a new Bento sushi station and perennial favourite Pizza Pizza. Popular burrito outlet Quesada has moved to IB and can be found next to the Subway and Bento stations.
Tobias has developed two new food stations unique to UTM. The Rotisserie & Shawarma station offers homey dishes like jerk chicken, truffle mac ‘n’ cheese, falafels and tender rotisserie chicken and beef shawarma. The Bespoke Mongolian grill offers made-to-order dishes sautéed by grill masters over a special high-heat grill. Tobias says she was inspired by grills she has visited throughout Asia, but wanted to simplify the process to ensure it was accessible to everyone. Diners can choose from a variety of bases, including white, brown and cauliflower rice, as well as zucchini and sweet potato noodles, then add a protein, vegetables and one of five from-scratch sauces developed by Tobias, who has a soft spot for the coconut adobo sauce inspired by her native Philippines. “You can choose from 30 ingredients and have thousands of different combinations,” she says. “But for diners who can’t decide, there’s a chef’s choice option that’s really good.”
Tobias has also revamped Fusion 5—Canada’s first certified gluten-free university food station. Renamed Fusion 8, the new menu is now free of eight common allergens: gluten, mustard, shellfish, dairy, eggs, sesame, peanuts and tree nuts. Tobias has also tweaked the flavour profile, introducing new tastes from the Middle East, Syria and North Africa, including smoky harissa paste and garlicky chermoula sauce.
The Salad and Yogurt Bar has also returned, along with the International Station, which features a rotating menu of international flavours. Ooh La La offers light meals, including waffles, toasted bagels and crepes, along with a selection of quiches, muffins and pastries.
For coffee and tea lovers, the new Fair Trade Corner offers self-serve and specialty fair trade beverages and chocolates from Doi Chaang, Teaja, Numi and Camino. Fair trade beverages can also be found in Deerfield Hall, Coleman Commons and Maanjiwe nendamowinan. Fans of double-doubles and Timbits will note that the self-serve Tim Horton’s kiosk has closed in Davis, however the full-service counter in Davis and the self-serve kiosk in the CCT Atrium are open. The Starbucks outlet in the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre was renovated over the summer. Watch for a new second Starbucks counter to open in Deerfield Hall in time for Thanksgiving.
New icons on the menu boards will help diners easily find vegetarian, halal, vegan, and gluten-free options, as well as items made with local ingredients like UTM honey, apples and cage-free eggs from Mississauga, and beef, chicken and pork from nearby Guelph. The Hospitality & Retail Services team also offers a one-on-one consultation service to help diners navigate dining options.