Greening it up with Oxford’s new menu


Minh Quan Pham

Greening it up: Cafeteria manager Tiffany Camarillo chops and bins cucumber slices for Tuesday’s fresh and tasty salad bar.

Rachel Yoon and Haley Nguyen

Hundreds of hungry Oxford students rush to the lunch line at approximately 11:50 a.m. every day. Waiting for their arrival is a large selection of meals, from a balanced teriyaki, broccoli, and rice bowl to a more fun plate of pizza and fries (with a salad, of course). These new breakfast and lunch additions didn’t just magically appear — Oxford’s cafeteria staff have been working hard since six o’clock in the morning to make mealtime extra special for students. 


Throughout this school year, the cafeteria staff put their focus onto nutritious and mindful menu changes. Tiffany Camarillo, Oxford’s cafeteria manager, is leading the process. 


“I saw what the students were getting for lunch and thought it could be a lot better. I started gradually, making little changes here and there. Eventually, I made a plan, explained it to everyone, and…just did it!” Camarillo said. 


One of the most notable changes in the lunch menu was the implementation of a salad bar inside of the MPR building. Gold Star, the cafeteria’s main food service company, provides fresh produce to Oxford’s kitchen every day. The selection of fruit and vegetables change with the produce seasons, while carrots and lettuce stay constant throughout. New healthy breakfast items have been implemented into the menu as well, such as the fruit smoothie, the yogurt parfait, and most recently — the fresh green smoothie.


“My whole theme is ‘green it up,’” Camarillo said. “It’s why we [focused on the salad bar] and added things like broccoli and other vegetables to the rice bowl.” 


While healthier foods have put themselves at the heart of recent menu changes, many students praised the wide variety of breakfast and lunch meals in general, such as the breakfast cinnamon roll and the lunch Shake Ramen. Camarillo’s personal favorite lunch option — “greening” it up aside — is the pizza served throughout the week.


“The new menu is really good!” freshman Ava Pitts said. “The only thing is I wish they had more vegetarian options.” 


Camarillo’s job is one that requires attention to detail and full perceptiveness to the student body, which includes tuning into student feedback. In her experience, choosing the menu each day and scheduling when each food item gets its time to shine was both the most stressful and the most enjoyable component to her role as cafeteria manager.


“I absolutely love my job. I love putting in the work and seeing it in action. I think it’s awesome seeing all the colors on everyone’s plates when they go through the salad bar,” Camarillo said. “So yeah! It’s great.”