Jock's Backroom Blog

Views from the Backroom, and the Classroom, at Oxford Brookes University

How the other half dine

Posted by Jock Coats on January 13th, 2012

Formal Hall Menu, 17th January 2011:

Christ Church College Dining Hall

Cured Salmon Topped with Beetroot with a Rocket Salad

Pan Fried Sirloin Steak with a Roasted Beef Jus
(v)Parsnip Cranberry and Chestnut Loaf with a Roasted Shallots Sauce
both with
Wasabi Mash, Cabbage and Carrots

Passion Fruit and Lemon Tart with a Passion Fruit Cream

Price: £4.50 (waiter service)

Brookes Lunch Menu, Friday 13th Jan

Lasange, Chips, Garden Peas

Cabinet Pudding & Custard

Price: £6.06 (self service)

Brookes dinner menu:

Dinner?  You do that yourself, mate.

I’ll always remember Sir Clive Booth coming to open the halls that bear his name, and talking about how halls were part of us providing Maslow’s baser needs so our students could devote their energies to the higher pursuits of academia, community and high culture.  But while tinned spaghetti hoops and pot noodle are the dinner menu can we really expect self-actualisation to occur in our students quite as readily as with their well fed fellows less than a mile away?

Maybe it’s time, when the contract comes up for renewal, that we look seriously at a not-for-profit or social enterprise to do our catering, and sell at cost, rather than a contractor having to make an inappropriate mark-up out of cash-strapped students’ most basic needs?