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D&E Chef Mel Campbell Offers Service with a Smile With Dining Integration

November 3, 2007
By Anthony Gaynor, Staff Writer
Two changes in the Davis & Elkins College Dining Services and Graceland Inn and Conference Services are going to strive to integrate the two programs to better serve students, visitors and the college.

Chef Melanie Campbell took over the position of executive chef and general manager of D&E’s College Dining Services. The change in senior management will integrate all the campus dining services including the main campus dining facility in Benedum Hall, the Mingo Room at Graceland Inn, the Cadillac Daddy Cafe and all internal and external catering service. Campbell will work closely with Events and Sales Manager Michael Ratliff.

“We are excited about the opportunities in front of us,” Campbell said. “We have to decide where we are headed.”

Campbell is a Buckhannon-Upshur High School graduate. In 1986, she graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College, majoring in home economics. She was the executive chef at Snowshoe for 15 years and also in Morgantown at Lakeview Sheraton.

Campbell has worked at D&E as an adjunct professor in the Hospitality program since 1996. She joined the Graceland Inn staff in 2001 as the executive chef of the Mingo Room.

Ratliff has worked with two different food service providers and now works with D&E, since D&E has integrated the food service program.

“My focus has been more on restaurants,” Campbell said. “ We are looking at how we can make it a better experience.”

Both Campbell and Ratliff began their positions on Nov. 1 and have many plans for the future of D&E’s dining services. They are both hoping to create more of a consistency in food, service and to ensure that people see the same faces.

“We have worked together in the past,” Ratliff said. “Now that we all work for D&E, we are trying to streamline everything.”

One of the goals the two are trying to reach is giving the same service, same food and the same faces in all aspects of D&E’s dining services and Graceland Inn.

“We are trying to tie the hospitality program into the dining service,” Ratliff said. “Now students can intern here; with the outsourced food service, we could not do internships.”

Another goal Campbell and Ratliff are working towards is to incorporate foods from other cultures on certain days. They want to get international students involved to give the students something different.

Campbell, who also teaches classes in the hospitality program, said now she has the opportunity to work with the students in Graceland.

“There has been some job shadowing before, but now we can integrate it more,” Campbell said.

Both Campbell and Ratliff are hoping the changes will also benefit outside organizations to use the facility more for meetings, weddings, reunions and even high school proms.

“We have two great venues (Halliehurst and Graceland) that are wonderful settings.”

To reserve either venue for an event, call Campbell or Ratliff at 637-1566 or 637-1308. The student dining hall is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., lunch is served from 11:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Graceland Inn is open for happy hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Sunday, Graceland is open for brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In addition to the integration, two new menu items are now on tap at Graceland Inn. Now you can order Grilled Ahi Tuna, a light delicate Ahi from the Pacific Ocean that can be grilled to a desired temperature. The tuna is served with pickled pink ginger, wassabi and red bliss potato du jour.

The second item is Jumbo Shrimp Alfredo. The alfredo is served with jumbo full shrimp, sauteed in butter and garlic, tossed with fettuccini pasta and alfredo sauce with shredded Asagio cheese. The alfredo can also be served with chicken or plain instead of shrimp.

Article Photos

(CU and The Inter-Mountain/Anthony Gaynor)
PINCH OF THAT — Executive Chef and General Manager of Davis and Elkins College Dining Services Melanie Campbell prepares a desert at Graceland Inn. Campbell combined with Events Sales Manager Michael Ratliff hope to integrate the hospitality program, dining services, catering services and Graceland Inn to better benefit students, guests and the community.



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