The Valley Café first began at Marist College as a way to create a connection between students and food in an effort to change the perception on dining. Steve Sansola, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, was inspired for the idea by his consciousness of the food industry and love for local, fresh, home grown ingredients. He wanted to share with the college the strong tie that exists between food, land and culture.
Since 2010, the Valley Café has provided a weekly buffet lunch designed by Marist’s Chef Anthony Legname. The Chef designs each meal around a theme chosen around a significant date in food history or a unique, exciting idea. Some of the Chef’s favorite themes from the past include those for Leonardo Da Vinci, African Celebration, Bollywood and Halloween. The menu is concentrated around the theme and the food itself is prepared from all local ingredients (those sourced within 150 miles of the college). Ingredients are sourced from Hudson Valley Fresh, Fair Weather Acres, Szawowski Farms, Purdy & Sons, Fresh Point Connecticut, Cecchi Farms and Long Plains Farms, Winter Sun Farms and more.
The Valley Café is an educational opportunity in both the theme it represents and in the importance of local sourcing.
Like all the meals we eat, there is more than just what ends up on our plate. Every dish has a story of growth and origin, hard work and cost that, when appreciated, make the food that much more delicious. Re-establishing this connection is what the Valley Café stands for.