App State Food Services helps students expand plant-based diets


Anna Muckenfuss

Students and food services personnel walk around Park Place at the Pond in Trivette Dining Hall. Danny Bock, a chef at Coyote Kitchen is now working with Food Services.

Anna Dollar, News Reporter


he newest assistant director of food services wants young vegans and vegetarians to learn more about the benefits of getting to know the food they put into their bodies.

“I think the biggest thing is when students embrace what diet is; they really begin to take that journey into food and cooking. It’s very hard to be a vegan. It’s very hard to be a vegetarian and not know about food,” said Danny Bock, who is also a former chef at Coyote Kitchen. “You really begin to learn more about sources. You begin to learn more about cooking technique. You begin to learn more about cultures.”

Bock recommends that students know where their food is coming from and keep it local.

“It’s really neat that you can eat kale 12 months out of the year, but realistically, if it comes from California and it drives in an 18-wheeler all the way over here because you’re supporting a sustainable and environmentally-friendly diet, it’s sort of pointless,” Bock said.

Along with his familiarity with vegan and vegetarian diets, Bock likes to ask young people what they would like to eat to get a feel for what is “trendy” and also help teach them more about food options with whatever diet they choose.

“I like to approach vegetarian and vegan eating and kind of go to the customer and say, ‘Hey what do you like? Let me take your favorite ingredient and twist it,’ because a lot of times young vegan and vegetarian eaters begin with ‘I wanna get a vegetarian or vegan hamburger,’” Bock said.

Young vegans and vegetarians should look at “real food,” like raw fruits and vegetables, and not base their diets on substitute items, Bock said.

“My food is ingredient driven. It is best to start with the raw materials,” Bock said.

An example of what Bock means by an ingredient-driven menu is to steam a vegetable and then “accessorize” it.

“What we do is comfe garlic. Comfe is a French term to mean cooked in its own fat. Garlic doesn’t have any fat per se, so we use a garlic-infused canola oil. Now we use that to dress all of our vegetables so that it’s a simple clean addition because the plain steamed vegetable is usually kind of bland,” Bock said.

“Park Place has the vegan and vegetarian bar. That is also a place that they can experiment,” said Stephanie Sansoucy Lee, communications specialist of food services.

Bock is in charge of Park Place, Power Bar and McAllister’s Select. All three dining options are located in Trivette Dining Hall.