Chefs at the University of Maryland’s South Campus Dining Hall are highlighting their personalities through 10 installments of chef takeovers this semester.

Every few weeks, different chefs at South Campus Dining Hall create and serve a special dish reflecting their backgrounds or a part of their personalities at the Chef’s Table station, according to Dining Services spokesperson Bart Hipple.

“One person can’t possibly fulfill all the different desires of the student population. So to have all of the chefs putting their heads together and coming up with their favorites and new ideas is really important and it’s working well,” Hipple said.

South Campus Dining Hall executive sous chef Frances Lyles did the most recent chef takeover on Tuesday. She chose “world cuisines” for the theme — inspired by her love of travel and her foreign adventures, Lyles said.

Lyles served a variety of foreign specialties during her takeover, such as fish and chips, pasta bolognese, spicy Portuguese cacoila, German potato dumplings and vegetable pad thai.

“I feel like this was a great way to show our personalities as chefs because they get to show our creativity and what we can do on a daily basis,” Lyles said.

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Executive sous chef Ivory Kornegay also shared his personality through two earlier takeovers this semester, featuring Kansas City barbecue and Caribbean-American fusion themes, he said.

He chose the Caribbean theme to reflect the dishes he was familiar within his household, noting curries are a favorite of his. Preparing for his takeovers was “very intense” but he had fun doing it, Kornegay added.

Kornegay said one of the best parts has been seeing people’s reactions.

“I love just watching people come in and sample things, taste things and just get that expression,” he said.

Jared Guymon, a freshman enrolled in letters and sciences, particularly enjoyed Lyles’ recent takeover and said it was a “good surprise.” He was excited to see rice noodle pad thai especially, as his mom makes it at home, he added.

The idea for the takeover was thought up last summer by various leaders at South Campus Dining Hall with the goal of exposing students to new cuisines and expanding their palettes, Hipple said.

Since the start of the takeovers this semester, the feedback has been extremely positive, Jerome Powers, the assistant director of South Campus Dining Hall, said.

Guymon said he has enjoyed the takeover series because it increases variety in menu options.

“Usually they have the same choices everyday. It sort of gets bland after a little bit, so to have some new choices makes it fresh and exciting,” Guymon added.

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Senior neuroscience major Julia Firlie said she was excited when she saw Lyles’ takeover. She suggested the takeovers should be multi-day events so students have more chances to try everything offered.

Powers agreed that turning the takeovers into multi-day events was a good idea. He encouraged students to submit other feedback related to the takeovers so they learn which ones were people’s favorites and run them again.

Diners can use a comment card or scan the QR code at the Chef’s Table station to submit feedback, Powers added.

Hipple and Powers said they suspect the takeovers will continue in the future after their success this semester. This style of chef takeovers is unique to South Campus Dining Hall. Other dining halls have their own ways of bringing in new cuisines, Hipple added.

“We’re gonna keep going strong next year and more to come,” Powers said. “This is just the beginning.”