From servery to serving table: CulinArt staff promotes nutrition through wellness table


Photo credit: Melinda Wang

CulinArt’s Director of Nutrition and Wellness Stephanie Dorfman and dietician Carrie Gabriel stand behind the wellness table. In addition to sampling freshly made pesto pasta, students had the chance to consult Dorfman and Gabriel on healthy eating habits.

By Melinda Wang, Senior Reporter

CulinArt’s dietician Carrie Gabriel and Director of Nutrition and Wellness Stephanie Dorfman set up a wellness table in the courtyard during lunch April 20. The table provided samples of pesto pasta freshly made from the servery and recipe cards for students to take home.  

Gabriel was recently hired by CulinArt. Before working there, Gabriel was self-employed and set up wellness tables, which teach and advocate for healthier eating through promoting a variety of healthy recipes at corporations and schools.

“It’s really good to promote awareness on making your own meals at home, understanding basic home cooking, awareness of produce and using up your fruits and vegetables and incorporating them into your everyday recipes,” Gabriel said.

Dorfman has worked with CulinArt for almost six years and said she liked how she could support wellness and nutrition philosophies throughout promotions at wellness tables.

“One of our promotions that we recently did was called plant-centric. It’s a way to sustainably and maybe healthfully eat animal-based products while also including a mix of grains and veggie products,” Dorfman said. “It’s a nice, well-balanced way to incorporate everything into your meals.”

Director of Dining Services Megan Lambert has been working at the servery since its initial launch. Lambert originally worked at the Hilton in Universal City before being hired by CulinArt to work at Archer. Lambert said people often need help finding and balancing their nutrition.

“A lot of people don’t realize that grains are just as important as vegetables, especially whole grains as they have more beneficial nutrients than processed grains do,” Lambert said. “People think you need way more protein than you do, but you don’t realize how many other things you eat every day that satisfy your veggies, and you’re getting protein from that as well.”

Gabriel and Dorfman agreed on the importance of using food to nourish the body, balancing foods in a diet and recognizing hunger and satiety.

“Healthy eating has its place, but I also think all foods should be on the same playing field,” Dorfman said. “Making sure that students eat enough is important because you know you’re growing, and you’re active, and you’re academically active.”

According to CulinArt, plant-centric eating is a spectrum from plant-based meals without meat or seafood to plant-based meals with up to two ounces of meat or seafood. Gabriel said the wellness table helped promote healthy eating through a freshly made plant-centric dish.

“The [pesto pasta] is made here in the [servery], so it’s homemade,” Gabriel said. “That’s what drew me to this job — I like promoting wellness.”