By Adam Brown
HottyToddy.com recently sat down with Ole Miss Executive Chef Michael Brainard about his plans for dinning on campus.
Brainard arrived at Ole Miss in September, 2021, and set about enhancing the Ole Miss dining experience for students, employees and guests on campus. Tweaking existing culinary offerings and trying new options is all part of the process, the chef explained, and more experiments will be unveiled in the future.
“We have a lot of changes that we want to do,” Brainard said.
Throughout the summer months the Rebel Market where Brainard works might close down for a week, but mostly stays open seven days a week to offer delicious and nutritious food to those participating in various camps and programs, along with campus employees.
“This helps us be able to keep our staff intact and employed,” Brainard said, “instead of furloughing them like a lot of universities do.”
This past week, The Rebel Market had about 1,000 people eating at lunch every day thanks to Boys State, Cheerleading, Orientation and other campus programs going on at Ole Miss.
“Summer campus bring us good business,” he said.
In addition, Brainard said that this past semester on top of the freshmen who are required to purchased meal plans, growing numbers of upper classmen bought meal plans, too.
“In the spring semester we saw a lot of voluntary meal plans, including faculty and staff,” Brainard said. “This is a great thing, having them want to come dine with us on campus.”
Looking ahead, one of the station changes people will notice will be the sandwich lab.
“We’re taking our deli station and the grill and combining them,” Brainard said. “We are also going to take our gluten free station and expand on it, and go with a very popular trend in food service and offer bowls.”