Mark Wagner and Joe Johnson aim to please the palate. Mark, our director of dining services, and Joe, our executive chef, are dedicated to whipping up a variety of tasty and nutritious buffet-style foods for you and your fellow students to enjoy.
Both men worked at Cucina, the highly regarded Kohler Co. restaurant, for more than a decade before bringing their collective talent, experience and imagination to Lakeland.
Says Mark, who has created fine cuisine at Lakeland for 12 years: “At least 75 percent of the food we prepare is directly driven by what our students want. We talk one-on-one with them daily.”
So interactive are the relationships between Mark, Joe and our students, Lakeland’s chefs have been known to borrow treasured family recipes and prepare students’ favorite meals. In addition, Mark and Joe work closely with students and their families to offer gluten-free and allergy-safe fare.
Those are just a couple of ways Mark, Joe and the rest of our friendly, dedicated staff strive to make you feel at home. There are many other aspects of Lakeland Dining that make us a cut above other colleges and universities. Among them:
- A collection of homemade soups, including the popular chicken dumpling and tomato
- Fresh in-season produce from four local farmers
- Renowned Johnsonville brats a handful of times each semester
- Locally produced donuts from an area bakery
- Vegetarian options for every mealtime
- A week-long “no-fry zone,” during which healthier options are offered
- “Creative Cuisine,” special meals staff members produce in front of students
- Fruit such as melon, strawberries and grapes available with every meal
- A salad bar that includes iceberg and romaine lettuce, as well as spinach
- An assortment of baked fish
- Five different flavors of Gatorade and six different types of juice (orange, apple, grape, strawberry kiwi, strawberry banana and cranberry), plus milk, various sodas and water
In addition to the vast array of Lakeland Dining offerings, the Muskie Grill serves up more than 50 prepared to order options such as burgers and sandwiches. The Daily Grind, a popular campus hangout, sells coffee, lattes, smoothies and other beverages. Brand new to the Daily Grind is the Daily Scoop, which serves various imaginative flavors of ice cream in a cone or cup.
“We don’t bring anything subpar to the table,” says Mark. “The benchmark we have set here is much higher than at most colleges. I don’t know of too many that offer the quality and variety we do.”