Spill the TeaDining Hall

This semester, Colby-Sawyer College’s dining hall had to undergo a few changes in order to accommodate students under Covid-19 guidelines, including single-use to-go containers, plastic silverware and seating restrictions. Nevertheless, General Manager for Parkhurst Dining Services Leslie Ekstrand promises that many things remain the same, especially the dining hall’s mission to feed all students and meet dietary, health and overall food needs the best they can.

Almost everything at the dining hall and Lethbridge Lodge is still made from scratch. Desserts and bread are made by Parkhurst’s baker, french fries are hand cut, chicken is breaded by hand, stock is made in-house for soups. Leslie says that it takes a small army of people to make it all happen: about 30 full-time and 30 part-time employees, including student workers. These are people that students see every day, so they strive to provide a welcoming environment and sense of community.

Leslie’s job as general manager involves attending meetings, taking phone calls, coaching and helping the team to make sure things run smoothly, and doing “lots of paperwork.” Her favorite part of working at CSC is watching students grow and change during their four years. She also enjoys the atmosphere of working around young people and adds, “You guys are the future. Also, I like food, but I could do food anywhere. College kids keep us all young.” Leslie’s favorite meal is chicken parmesan, but she also loves indulging in a slice of cinnamon coffee cake paired with a cup of coffee.