Tiffin Man provides food for vegan, and gluten-free students


Sodexo, a big four year college institutional food service, was in the middle of a five year food service contract with MCTC when they exercised their option to stop serving in 30 days. In response, MCTC decided to take a chance on one of their own graduates. Jag Arora took just 24 days to set up Tiffin Man after he was approached by Gary Westerland, director of auxiliary services at MCTC.

Adam Doom, Executive Chef for Tiffin Man, said, “We were negotiating with MCTC to set up a burrito stand on the first floor by the old culinary classes in the Technical Building and [Arora] keep hesitating if the deal was done. He then told me that we had a deal, but that instead we were taking over the main kitchen and food service for the school.”

Tiffin Man opened its doors on August 24, 2015. Tiffin Man is not only a full service restaurant, but also still does take out and catering to different downtown businesses, using Litespeed bicycle delivery for their take out.

One year later, Tiffin Man has several options at their line service. There is the grill, sandwich, pizza and two deli sections. In the back cooking station, they serve different ethnic cuisines. Wednesday, one of the things they serve is a vegan curry of lentils and rice. When they serve their Thai meal, one of the options has mock duck as part of the meal.

On the regular daily menu they have burritos, taco bowl, falafel and hummus which are excellent vegan protein options. They even have a vegan burger! “Our salsa and sauces are sweetened with agave, so those are vegan,” said Stephen Holewa, director of Catering.

Dallas Rising, who has been a vegan for 25 years and has been taking classes for the past few years at MCTC, has enjoyed in the past that the culinary students always had one vegan meal a day. “I wish they would mark the vegan food.” She says that she enjoyed the Asian coleslaw that was from the MCTC Urban Farm student collective, which Tiffin Man was incorporating vegetables and greens from all the way through November with this year’s warm weather.

When it comes to gluten free options, they have Udi’s gluten free hamburger buns and corn tortillas that can be substituted.

Doom said that most of the recipes are a collaborative effort among the staff. “Different recipes are from different staff members. We are always improving them. They are from scratch and we don’t add unnecessary commercial fats to them.”

Even now, Tiffin Man is adding to their services. “We are working on some new ideas to improve the food service at Tiffin Man,” Doom said. They are launching a new website and Facebook page to keep students better informed.