Wednesday, October 20, 2021

MSU senior prepares dessert menu, pays tribute to dining hall

April 23, 2019
The dessert menu, titled "Going Bananas," was put together by long-time dining hall employee Chemistry senior Benjamin Roggenbuck. It featured banana-flavored treats.
The dessert menu, titled "Going Bananas," was put together by long-time dining hall employee Chemistry senior Benjamin Roggenbuck. It featured banana-flavored treats. —
Photo by Chandra Fleming | The State News

Chemistry senior Benjamin Roggenbuck featured his own dessert menu in Snyder-Phillips' dining hall — The Gallery — Monday afternoon.

Roggenbuck came to Michigan State in fall 2011 and has worked in the same cafeteria since. Now that he's getting ready to graduate, he's paying tribute.

The menu is titled, "Going Bananas," in reference to the stress students might face during the upcoming finals week.

Roggenbuck's dessert menu was full of banana-flavored treats including strawberry banana smoothies, chocolate-dipped bananas, banana pudding and banana bread.

Starting out as an entry level kitchen worker and now a student supervisor, Roggenbuck said The Gallery was significant to him because he met his wife, now Casey Roggenbuck, there.

The State News reported on his proposal to Casey in the dining hall during fall 2016.

“I proposed to her during the Masquerade Ball,” Roggenbuck said. “We got married last year, August 4th. We’ve been living happily ever since.”

The "Going Bananas" menu was featured April 22 and was only served during Snyder-Phillips lunchtime hours. Roggenbuck said at a March meeting, their manager asked the staff to brainstorm dining hall events.

Roggenbuck took his chance with the idea.

“(I said), 'Well, I am graduating. I want to do something special,' so I figured I would do that,” Roggenbuck said. “I approached him in early March right before spring break and I said, 'Hey I want to run an event.' And he said 'Sure. Let me know, we'll talk to an executive chef and we’ll make it happen.' "

Roggenbuck said there's a reason he never left the dining hall.

“I just love working there, it's a wonderful atmosphere," he said. "A lot of us are students, so we're going through the same stuff together. We have a very warm, family-like environment.”

Longtime co-worker Kara Peruchietti said Roggenbuck did a great job organizing the event.

“I’ve known Ben for about six years and it’s been awesome working with him,” Peruchietti said. “It’s really nice that he has always been here, so there has always been some familiar faces, he’s great.”

Peruchietti also said once Roggenbuck leaves, she'll miss her longtime co-worker.

“It’s like the end of an era,” Peruchietti said. “Just because, I’ve been here since 2011 and there are different classes that have come and gone. Ben is one of the only people, that has been here through all of them.”

Roggenbuck said he won't be leaving as soon as he graduates, but is searching for his next line of work. For anyone interested in working at the dining halls, Roggenbuck offered some words of encouragement.

“You’re going to find a lot of people who are a lot like you,” Roggenbuck said. “We’re going through the same thing, we all have homework, stress, and we’re very open, we're warm, welcoming and we've got that family atmosphere. ... You'll make friends,  you'll make relationships or, like me, you will even get married to some of your coworkers there. It's a good experience."

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