Though I am new adjunct faculty at College of the Redwoods, I was taken aback by the letter headlined "Lower Class Food," (Mailbox, Nov. 22). I've been more than surprised by how tasty, nutritious, and affordable the food actually is at CR. All entrees and a la carte items are priced below $5, and many staff, faculty and students appreciate CR's varied menus and consistent vegetarian options. Many at CR are also aware that the dining hall manager goes to great lengths to use local produce from CR's Shively farm.
At College of the Redwoods, students, staff and faculty have been privy to some of the tastiest and freshest homemade meals around, thanks to Silvia Vader, who has been dining services manager at CR for nearly 18 years. Ms. Vader's family recipes, prepared by staff and student workers, are the mainstay of lunches and dinners served at the college -- corn fritters and fresh black bean salsa, stuffed acorn squash with quinoa, and veggie chili with corn bread are but a few of the wholesome options available. When Silvia's clam chowder is up for lunch, faculty and staff know to get there early as an entire pot rarely lasts past 1 o'clock. Sylvia's salad bar is always well-stocked, and the a la carte line has meat and non-meat options to choose from. Each September Ms. Vader begins using seasonal, local produce from CR's Shively farm -- fresh basil, tomatoes, zucchini, winter squash and more go into her fall entrees. My favorite? Her layered polenta with gobs of pesto, fresh basil and melted mozzarella -- for $3.35, hands down, it's the best vegetarian lunch bargain on the North Coast.
On Dec. 3 Silvia Vader retired, leaving behind memories of her hard work, dedication and delicious food.
Josephine Johnson, Arcata