Christendom College’s executive chef Dennis Paranzino was recently highlighted by On-Campus Hospitality for his contributions to Christendom College’s food services over the past six years. An alumnus of Johnson and Wales University, Paranzino is noted for bringing his Italian background into his personalized menus at Christendom, helping to serve over 1,000 meals a day to the student body, faculty, and staff.
In the article, On-Campus Hospitality recognizes Paranzino’s vast experience in running food services at the collegiate level, from spending a decade at Sweet Briar College to serving the Christendom community for the past six years. For him, the attraction to working at colleges is the personalized attention it allows — a facet seen in every level at Christendom.
“What I like most about the college experience is the face-to-face that you have with the students — the more personal experience that you get with them, the more personal satisfaction, the instant gratification,” said Paranzino in the article.
Before discovering his calling for the culinary arts, Paranzino studied architecture at Virginia Commonwealth University. Finding a lack of jobs available in that field, Paranzino moved onto his next great love: making food. After working as a gourmet market manager, he went to the famed Johnson & Wales to attend culinary school, before joining a country club in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympic games.
With his extensive background in managing staffs and preparing delicious food, Paranzino joined Christendom College’s staff in 2010 as its executive chef, making the food services at the college more popular than ever in the process. Today, Paranzino handles the duties of a dining service director in his day-to-day-work at the college, preparing three meals a day in the college’s St. Lawrence Commons. Some of the new offerings he’s brought to the student body include: personalized sandwiches from the deli bar, a fresh salad bar, homemade soups, made-to-order omelets, and more.
In his time at Christendom, Paranzino has been recognized for bringing his Italian flair to the meal offerings, but also his large amount of experience in health food, offering a wide variety of menu options that help suit many dietary needs — a great feat, considering the amount of meals that have to be prepared every day for the college community.
“We have about 450 students, and we are serving about 1,000 meals a day,” said Paranzino. “I get adventurous on our four-week menu cycle. I will mix it up every now and then. We do a lot of special holidays — St. Patrick’s Day is very big, as is St. Joseph’s Day and all of the different feasts. I take a lot of my family’s background, the Italian food that my mom Josie always prepared, so I integrate a lot of that into our cooking here too.”
To find out more about Paranzino and Christendom’s dining services, please visit here.