Emily Vander Ploeg—Staff Writer
For the remainder of the fall semester, Dordt Dining will host a grill-off. The submissions of student workers from the Commons and the Defender Grille will be featured in the grill line of the Commons and judged by the student body.
The contest was first conceived by freshmen Annabella Mosher, Moira Iniguez, and Isabel Boer.
“We were chatting and decided we wanted to show up all the other grill shifts,” Mosher said. “I mean, we’re part of one of the only, if not the only, all-girls grill shift.”
The Commons workers involved presented their idea to Andrew Mullins, production manager at Dordt Dining, wanting him to judge the competition. And, with Mullins’ help, the competition grew.
“The competition will be for student employees who work at the Commons or Grille,” Mullins said. “And the judging will be open to anyone who tries the sandwiches.”
The competition entries can include hamburgers, grilled chicken, crispy chicken, or spicy chicken–basically, anything that can be made by the grill line at the Commons, Roman Galles, retail manager at Dordt Dining, said.
“The entries could include almost anything that is feasible for a college-level dining hall,” Mullins said. “We have said no to things like truffles and wagyu beef, though, since we don’t want to have to raise everyone’s meal plan pricing.”
Mullins and Galles worked with the students who came up with the idea to put down rules and guidelines for the competition. When the judging process begins, each sandwich submission will be featured for one day in the burger line at the Commons. Mullins and Galles are still figuring out if the sandwich of the day will be a surprise, or if a schedule will be posted in the Commons or online. At the end of the burger line, a QR code will allow diners to rate the sandwich from their phones. Students can vote once per day, as each day will highlight a different sandwich. However, the student-created sandwiches will not be featured on particularly busy days at the Commons, such as campus visit days.
“We didn’t want to have to make a few hundred extra of one sandwich on a busy campus visit day when not everyone who gets it will be voting,” Mullins said.
At the end of the competition, the ratings will be analyzed, and the sandwich with the highest ratings will become a permanent menu option at the Grille during nighttime Grille hours. The winner will also be able to name their sandwich.
“This is always something that I wanted to do here,” Mullins said. “I can’t wait to see the fun ideas the students come up with.”
The length of the competition will depend on the number of entries. The winner will be announced, and their sandwich will be added to the permanent Grille menu, by the end of the semester.
Mosher is looking forward to the competition too: “I was excited to hear that the winner’s sandwich will become a permanent menu item at the Grille. I think that adds to the competition, and it’ll be nice to have a new addition to the night menu.”