Tag Archives: dining hall

Meals at Ridley College – A Vegetarian Perspective

Our summer student Liz, is a Ridley Graduate and just so happens to be a vegetarian. Liz shares her thoughts on Ridley food for you in this blog post:

It can be a challenge to make healthy food choices without sacrificing tasty student staples. This can be further complicated with things like food allergies and other dietary restrictions.  That said, as a vegetarian and former Ridley student, I know that Great Hall offers something for everyone.

Chartwells is Ridley’s food service provider, and their team works with the Ridley community by fueling students and staff to perform at their best and encouraging healthy choices.  Chartwells will often post information throughout the dining hall about things like sustainable food sourcing to explain how the elements of wellness, environment, supply chain, and the community are interconnected.  Ridley has also hosted guest nutritionists and chefs like Corbin Tomaszeski from the Food Network for presentations on healthy eating to staff and students.

2015-02-20 08.37.33Diners can access the daily menu through the Ridley website by clicking here.  The daily menu will include options in both the Upper and Lower School dining halls (William’s Hall is where Lower School students go to eat).  Menu options are also posted directly outside the Great Hall for students and staff to check during the academic day.  There’s always excitement in the air when the menu features a student favourite – especially when it’s chicken parm.  Every lunch and dinner will feature both a hot regular and vegetarian meal option.  For example, one day’s meal menu in the Upper School might look something like this:


  • Farm-fresh eggs, fried or boiled
  • Sausage
  • Waffles with berries and syrup


  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Roast potatoes
  • Vegetable of the day
  • Cheese-stuffed tortellini with creamy wild mushroom sauce
  • Sticky rice
  • Dessert: fresh, seasonal fruit


  • Teriyaki chicken
  • Thai fried rice
  • Vegan strips with pasta
  • Vegetarian pad thai
  • Sticky rice
  • Dessert: brownies

In addition to the hot option, there’s also a fully-stocked sandwich bar, salad bar, toaster station, and two soup/stew options (standard and vegetarian/vegan) available at lunch and dinner.  For breakfast, there is always oatmeal, yogurt, cereals, fruit, and toast. Throughout the day, Ridley staff and students can grab a coffee or tea from a station at the back of the Great Hall, and snacks like fruit and granola bars are available at morning break and in the afternoon once classes have finished.

At the sandwich and salad bars, toppings tend to rotate through the week so there’s always variety.  These options can be more easily customized, making them a great choice for vegetarians or diners with other dietary restrictions.  Some students and staff are especially talented when it comes to making inventive and delicious salads, sandwiches, or wraps.  A big salad with lots of toppings (and Paula’s amazing hummus!) was my go-to lunch as a Ridley student.

The anatomy of a delicious Ridley salad! #GreatHallGreatFood

A video posted by Ridley College (@ridleycollege) on

Even as a day student, I usually ate three meals a day on campus.  I would arrive at school early, in good time for breakfast, and would have dinner before evening study and activities.  Students are usually hungry after a late afternoon sports practice, robotics session or dramatic rehearsal anyway, so it makes sense to grab dinner in the Great Hall.

2015-02-19 11.38.05Students and visitors will often remark that Ridley and especially the Great Hall feels a lot like Hogwarts, the school of magic from Harry Potter.  It probably has something to do with the lofty ceilings, school uniforms, and hanging portraits of past Headmasters and Board Chairs.  In any case, the Great Hall is a central location for the Ridley and is an excellent place to enjoy a meal, snack or conversation with friends.

Early Thanksgiving Feast!

Canadian Thanksgiving is this Monday and students were treated to an early Thanksgiving treat today at lunch! Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pumpkin pie!! Delish!! Students will be leaving Thursday afternoon for their first break of the school year. Some students are heading to New York for a sightseeing trip lead by Mr. Martinez and Ms. Bylsma while others are going home or to a home stay with local Canadian families.

Staff carving a turkey for a traditional Thanksgiving meal in the dining hall
Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, squash and green beans topped off with gravy!
Student digging into some pumpkin pie!

Thanksgiving is a holiday in Canada which is celebrated the second weekend in October whereas American Thanksgiving is celebrated in late November. People gather with family and friends and give thanks for good fortune usually over a meal. Thanks to the Chartwell’s staff for an amazing early taste of Thanksgiving. And students don’t blame the tryptophan if you fall asleep during study!

Tips for New Ridley College Students: Tip #3

In a series of ten videos Admissions Assistant Erin gives tips to newly admitted students to Ridley College. In this video, Erin gets help from Daniella and Elaine who explain why you should always know what’s for dinner?

Tiger Nutrition Launched Today at Ridley College

Dr. John Berardi
Dr. John Berardi Launches Tiger Nutrition

Want to do better on your next test, boost your sports performance or just generally feel better? According to Dr. Berardi it all starts with proper nutrition. Today in assembly we were joined by Dr. Berardi who has created the new Tiger Nutrition program. Mr. Paul DeVellis has been approached by students in the past asking how to build muscle or perform better in sports, so he contacted Dr. Berardi to help him create a program to do that and more! The new program will be available starting today in the cafeteria to assist students in achieving their goals.

Dr. Berardi presents to Ridley College students
Tiger Nutrition Poster

There are four goals listed on posters in the cafeteria:

1. To Eat a Healthier Diet

2. To Boost Sports Performance

3. To Build Bigger Muscles

4. To Lose Body Fat

Each goal is accompanied by colour coded tiger paws that represent proteins, carbs and fruits & veggies. For each goal it tells you how many proteins, carbs or fruits & veggies you should eat, for example, if you want to eat a healthier diet: For most meals – eat one protein serving and two fruits & vegetable servings and for after you exercise – eat one protein, a carb serving and one fruit & vegetable serving. The tiger paws will be put beside all food items by Chartwells staff so students will know what is a carb or a protein. Chuck Dertinger OR  ’03 spent countless hours during an internship with Dr. Berardi measuring serving scoops/spoons used in the dining hall to quantify the nutritional composition of each food for this program.  Dr. Berardi said he is not here to tell students to never eat junk food, but instead to help students make better nutritional choices.  Dr. Berardi has worked on nutritional programs for NHL hockey players, NFL football players, athletes on Canadian National teams and now Ridleians! Thank you Dr. Berardi for your work on this program.  Check out the new system in the cafeteria today!