/Laura Rosen Cohen

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So far Laura Rosen Cohen has created 237 blog entries.

January 2018

In A Breakfast Rut?

January 19th, 2018|

No Time For Breakfast?

No Problem! Just Grab ‘N’ Go.

Your alarm goes off, you hit snooze. You hit snooze again, and then hit it again! You finally manage to get out of bed and realize you have just enough time to get to class, but not for breakfast. Don’t despair, and definitely don’t skip breakfast, just visit your closest Grab ‘N’ Go fridge on campus.

The Grab ‘N’ Go stations were specifically designed with ease and convenience in mind. Visit any one of the seven Grab ‘N’ Go fridges on campus to choose from a wide variety of healthy and nutritious snacks and meals while you are on the run. Breakfast options include yogurt parfaits, fresh fruit and muffins among other energy-boosting items. A healthy breakfast starts your day off right, so just Grab ‘N’ Go.

For more breakfast ideas like how to jazz up your morning toast, and great ways to fight the daily stresses of student life, check out the links below.


Energy Boosting Breakfast Toasts (With How To Videos)

Fight the Stress

December 2017

Calling All Student Chefs: It’s the 2018 Inter-University Iron Chef Competition!

December 13th, 2017|

Food Services recently had a chance to speak with New College Executive Chef James Piggott about one of his favourite annual campus projects: the inter-university Iron Chef competition. The application process for student chefs for the February 2018 competition is now underway (APPLY HERE, the deadline is December 19th). The excitement and momentum is building, so we thought it would be a great time to ask Chef James exactly what he likes about being involved with Iron Chef.

“I’ve always enjoyed the teaching aspect of the culinary world, and Iron Chef gives us a great chance to mentor students, teach them excellent skills and an opportunity to participate in something that is a little different than their regular campus academic or extracurricular activities,” says Chef James.

“The competition is also a time for us to build community on campus, and also develop relations between students and the Food Services department,” he adds.

Chef James says that he is not necessarily looking for students with extensive backgrounds in the food industry. He says that potential applicants should not be afraid to throw their hat in the ring even if they don’t have formal kitchen experience.

“We’re really looking for students who want to learn something new, who will come to the training sessions and take them seriously and also those who will participate with an open mind. And obviously we are looking for students who really want to compete and have a competitive spirit,” he says.

The training sessions, he notes, can be quite intense. There is always a lot of fun to be had, but there are only six practices before the competition, so students have to be focused and committed as they train.

Chef James notes that there are a lot of crossover lessons from the kitchen that can be applied to every day student life.

“Working in a kitchen is not just a matter of knowing how to use a knife. It’s also about understanding the importance of timing, of order, of being organized and neat, about food safety and about keeping your station clean. Plus, you also need to know how to think on your feet. These are all really good life lessons from the kitchen,” he says.

One of the most challenging elements of the competition is the famous “Black Box” experience whereby student chefs are presented with a black box of mystery ingredients and have to use all of them in various capacities as they prepare their dishes.

“Obviously, this is the toughest part because you can be completely removed from your comfort zone by a particular ingredient. It could be an ethnic ingredient you have never heard of or a unique ingredient from some other part of the world that you have never seen before and you have to hit Google pretty quickly. In the best case scenario, you get a familiar ingredient that you are confident about using to pair up with your protein,” he explains.

The competition, he adds, is rewarding on a number of levels. Students really enjoy making interesting and creative dishes that are presentable and edible. And cooking also has a unique way of bringing out their creativity.

Chef James says he’s primarily looking for an ambitious and hardworking team that wants to win.

“Last year we came in second, and we want first place this year. I’d like to encourage students to apply for a spot on the team and show us what they’ve got. It’s going to be a great time and a really great experience for all and we are in it to win it,” he says.

Interested? Apply here! 



Weekend Eats and Treats on Campus

December 8th, 2017|

If you find yourself on campus and hungry over the weekend, don’t worry!

Food Services has got you covered.

While it is true, and natural that UTSG does get a little quieter over the weekend, there are actually quite a few food locations open and available to serve you on Saturdays and Sundays.

For a comprehensive and continually updated list of individual locations and their hours, click here.

For your convenience, here’s a short list of the food outlets on campus that have service on weekends:

Café AC:

Saturday and Sunday

9:00 am to 5:00 pm

OISE Café:


8:30 am to 2:30 pm

The Green Beet:

Saturday and Sunday

10:30 am to 4:00 pm

Starbucks at Robarts:

Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Sunday 10:00am to 6:00 pm

Tortillas at Robarts:

Saturday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Sunday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Dining Halls:

The New College and Chestnut Dining Halls are also open on the weekend.

Payment at either of these two Dining Halls can be made via T-Card (Meal Plan), Flexible Dollars or cash.


Paying It Forward During the Holidays

December 4th, 2017|

The holiday season is upon us and thus, the gift giving season.

It can be an expensive season, and stressful for students who are most often on a tight budget.

Fortunately, there are a lot of gifts that are full of good will and good cheer that will not cost you an arm and a leg!

We here at Food Services have put together a list of some of our favourite gifts that Pay It Forward, with plenty of low cost and no cost suggestions that you may wish to try.

If we’ve missed any, or if you have tried any of these, or plan to try out some of these ideas, let us know on Twitter or by leaving a comment for us on our Facebook page.

Some ideas for your consideration:

  • Bake some homemade treats, or organize a cookie exchange.
  • Surprise a neighbour with freshly baked cookies or treats.
  • Send a gratitude email to a co-worker who deserves more recognition.
  • Know parents who could use a night out? Offer to babysit for free
  • Buy a plant. Put it in a terracotta pot. Write positive words that describe a friend on the pot. Give it to that friend!
  • Take flowers or treats to the nurses’ station at your nearest hospital.
  • Email or write to a former teacher who made a difference in your life.
  • Pay for someone’s coffee.When buying a coffee, you can casually pay the coffee or tea of the person behind you.
  • Ask for donations instead of gifts.Many people wonder how they can do something good without having to spend money. By asking people to donate for a good cause instead of buying you a birthday/Christmas/wedding gift, you can do a good deed without having to spend anything.
  • Donate blood. By donating your blood, you can potentially help another person to live. What could be more beautiful than doing something that helps someone else to stay alive?
  • Spend some time with the elderly.There are many people in retirement homes that have visitors. You could drop by your local old-age home and ask if there’s someone whose day you could brighten.
  • Pay an animal shelter a visit.Your closest animal sanctuary will most likely be glad if you’re willing to spend some time with their dogs or cats. In many cases, it’s possible to take a walk with a dog.
  • Mow the lawn or shovel snow for an elderly person.There are many people who can no longer take care of their gardens themselves. Taking care of their garden is a fantastic way to pay it forward.
  • Do pro bono work: whatever you do well, do as a donation: donate your time or a skill that you may have.
  • Tell someone they made a difference in your life.
  • Volunteer at a hospital, homeless shelter, nursing home, etc.  Get outside of yourself and help others.
  • Help someone get active! There’s probably a co-worker or acquaintance in your life who wants to get healthy, but needs a helping hand.
  • Setup a donation box at your school, work or place of worship and ask others to make canned/dried food contributions.  Then deliver the donations accordingly.
  • Take the time to teach someone a skill that you have.
  • Take someone else’s dog for a walk.
  • Pet-sit for someone on vacation.
  • Clean your friend’s house for him/her.
  • Invite a neighbour for coffee or a meal at your house.
  • Make a music playlist for a friend.


Random Acts of Kindness

Selfless Way to Pay It Forward

Planet of Success: Ideas to Pay It Forward

Ways to Pay It Forward

November 2017

Happy World Vegan Day!

November 1st, 2017|

World Vegan Day is a great opportunity to make a conscious choice to show your love for veggies!

If you want to cut down on your meat consumption, but don’t want to go completely vegetarian or vegan, you can try doing “Meatless Mondays”, an initiative started by fashion designer Stella McCartney. “Meatless Monday” encourages entire families, individuals and organizations to go without meat once a week for the betterment of the planet.

Some people cut down on meat consumption for health and economic reasons. There are certainly no shortage of compelling environmental and ethical reasons to reduce meat consumption as well.

We here at Food Services at UTSG love our vegetables, and love our vegetarians and vegans. We have lots of veggie and vegan-friendly dishes on campus for you to enjoy, always made fresh daily by our talented culinary team.


World Vegan Day, A Global Perspective

Fifty Shades of Vegetarianism: Going Meat Free Got Complicated

A History of Veganism