Anyone interested in one-stop shopping for a nutritional meal on the Tulane University uptown campus may want to check out the Peak Performance station at Bruff Commons.
Line server Rashika Taylor prepares to serve up broccoli at the Peak Performance station in Bruff Commons. In the background is executive chef Jonathan Leonard. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
“It’s truly a different selection of food,” says Thomas Beckmann, general manager of dining services at Tulane University. “I can go to Peak Performance and get a full meal of the vegetables, grains and meat that I want. I know it’s going to be a wholesome meal and it’s going to supply the fuel that I need.”
The menu, which changes daily, typically includes several fresh vegetables, complex starches and some carved meat such as chicken, ham, turkey or fish.
“And you can go to one place, get it, sit down, eat and leave,” says Beckmann.
The Peak Performance station was launched at the outset of the fall semester. The concept was hatched over the summer, when Beckmann and his staff worked with the athletics department to get a better understanding of the nutritional needs of student-athletes.
“And the more we thought about it, the more we realized it’s not only for athletes,” says Beckman. “It’s for anybody who has an active lifestyle.”
Such readily available, nutritional meals reflect a trend in the food service industry, where “mindful choices” are becoming more common.
“There has been a shift that started several years ago where we as providers are building things so that there is more choice for customers,” says Beckmann. Beyond that, “there are more educational pieces linked to food now,” he adds, noting that the nutritional value of every item on each day’s menu at Bruff Commons
is available online.
According to the feedback he gets from a student advisory board that meets biweekly, Peak Performance is a hit on campus, says Beckmann.
“Without a doubt,” he says, “it’s the No. 1 addition we made this year.”