Meet Sophia and Manon, our French Interns

Sophia and ManonJoin us in Holmes Dining Hall (for both lunch and dinner) on Friday, September 14, 2012 for a "French Food Delight" and taste the menu Sophia and Manon created specifically for us!

Sophia Cheref and Manon Danober (interns from France) have been working with Dining Services, Dietetics, and the Community Health programs since June. They are from LaSalle Beauvais School near Paris, where they are working on their Master's degrees in Food and Health Engineering with an emphasis in nutrition, food sanitation, and safety or marketing/communication. This degree leads to jobs in food product development or nutrition and health communications. The purpose of the internship is to improve their English speaking skills and to discover more precisely which emphasis area they would like to select to continue their studies.

Sophia and Manon have enjoyed learning about the foods in the United States (especially Colorado) and they wanted to provide the university community with some typical French meals. They will be serving French Food Delights in Holmes Dining Hall on September 14th during lunch and dinner. They tried to pick out some typical meals from all over the country to allow you discover a part of their culture, presenting what's usually eaten with family on Sunday. They also tried to find meals where the principal ingredients are something other than butter and sour cream -- which French cooking is known for here.

The menu for lunch will include:

  • Hachis Parmentier
  • Vegetarian Hachis Parmentier (with eggplant and goat cheese)
  • Cake Aux Olives
  • Green Beans hachis parmentier

The term "hachis" means a dish in which ingredients are chopped, minced, or crushed. Traditionally, leftovers of meat and stew are used.

The hachis parmentier is a dish of mashed potatoes and ground beef. This dish is named after the apothecary Antoine Parmentier, convinced that the potato could effectively fight the famine, convinced Louis XVI to try and approve it. Parmentier, seeing that the potatoes were not used by the people, made guards watch the potato fields during the day, so the potato was seen as a precious ingredient by everybody, and they left at night, so everybody could come to "steal" the crops.cake aux olives

The Hachis Parmentier recipe that will be served on Friday is a recipe adapted straight out of Sophia's Mom's kitchen and is usually eaten with green salad. The vegetarian Hachis Parmentier is an adaptation replacing the meat with vegetables and goat cheese.

You will also be offered cake aux olives or olive cake, usually served as an appetizer or for a picnic. The olive, rich in phosphorous, calcium, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese, is one of the important ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, showing healthy cardiovascular results.

The menu for dinner will include:

  • Crumble de Ratatouille (ratatouille crumble)
  • Le Poulet Rôti (roasted chicken)
  • Oven Baked Potatoes
  • Mushroom Risotto
  • Green Peas a la Francaise
  • Hot Spiced Applesauce

ratatouille crumbleRatatouille is a stew of vegetables coming from the South of France containing eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, bell pepper, onions, and the taste of Mediterranean cooking which is garlic. A blend of fresh herbs are included... and these are coming directly from the garden here at Holmes Dining Hall! It's also called Valentine or Piperade depending on the area in which you eat it. It also exists as a meal in other countries with different names. Here the ratatouille is adapted as Parmesan crumble and becomes a vegetarian dish.

Le poulet rôti (roasted chicken) is usually slowly cooked on a skewer, to get more flavor, and it's the meal of the Sunday lunch because you can find it in every market. Here it's cooked in the oven to make it possible for a such a large audience. The traditional side is potato, cooked with the chicken so it takes on the flavor of the roasted chickenchicken or frites (french fries), of course! It also can be accompanied with peas, cooked with pieces of thick slabs of bacon and salad which is called à la française. The peas are really rich in fiber, and contain a higher amount of protein and carbs than the other vegetables. It also brings a lot of antioxidants and vitamins C and B . After the meal, the wishbone has to be broken by the two youngest people at the table, and the winner can of course make a wish.

Rendez-vous September 14th at Holmes Dining Hall for lunch and dinner.

(This article was written by Sophia and Manon. We wanted this to be in their voice, so we didn't edit it much... just a few grammar adjustments. Thanks and Great Job Sophia and Manon!!)


Chef EssigHappy Dining from Executive Chef Essig!

Chef Aran Essig, CEC, CCA
(Certified Executive Chef, Certified Culinary Administrator)

Hungry and not sure where to eat? We can help you decide... check out the weekly menus often to see what each dining room is serving. You can also call the FoodLine (970.351.FOOD) for daily menus. Students living in the residence halls can access weekly menus on the VOIP phones in their rooms.

Students: add meals and/or Dining Dollars to your UNC Card

Faculty/Staff: sign up for the payroll deduction program

Have questions, comments, or suggestions?? Email us at