New instructor cooks up student success at Aspen Grille

[caption id="attachment_10492" align="alignright" width="214"]photo of Olson and Overlee Josh Olson, left, and Garrett Overlee[/caption] The student-run Aspen Grille opens for the semester on Tuesday, Feb. 10, and a new face will be serving up the cooking lessons. The Aspen Grille, a hidden gem located in the Lory Student Center, offers upscale, high-quality meals at reasonable prices. Ahi Tuna Tacos, the Aspen Grille Cobb Salad, the Colorado Cuban, and Aspen Grille Hamburger are among the popular menu items prepared and served by students in the Hospitality Management Program at CSU. The Aspen Grille serves as a hands-on student laboratory for the HM program, while providing an exceptional dining option to the campus and community. The restaurant has taken on a new instructor, Josh Olson ('06), to take the place of Bill Franz and Eric Milholland, who most recently split the Aspen Grille teaching duties. Franz, a full-time faculty member, and Milholland, an instructor in the HM Program, will now be teaching and developing other classes within the HM Program in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Olson has big shoes to fill. Franz, building on the work of Ken Smith, who helped launch the Grille as a partnership with the Division of Student Affairs and the Lory Student Center, initiated a unique training program for students in the Aspen Grille class in which they train each other in the different positions in the Grille. Students learn to be managers, not just workers. Taking over from Franz and Milholland, Olson will be collaborating with current chef instructor Garrett Overlee ('04), who has been with the Aspen Grille since 2011. The two will collaborate to put their skills learned in their degrees from CSU to use, as well as apply hands-on experience gained from working in the restaurant business. Olson is very enthusiastic about being back at CSU. "I feel super fortunate that I get to work where I went to school," he said. "I love the energy that working on campus provides. The enthusiasm from the students is incredible." More on Olson and Overlee: photo of Aspen Grille dining roomJosh Olson hails from Longmont, Colo., and attended Niwot High School. After one year at Fort Lewis College in Durango, he decided to transfer to Colorado State University, where he graduated with a degree in political science in 2006. While at CSU, he got a job cooking at a Scottish restaurant in Fort Collins called the Stonehouse Grille. This was an ideal restaurant for Olson because of his passion for European food and sports. After graduating from CSU, he moved to Denver to pursue a job in business as a sales manager for a large plumbing company. After giving it a try for about a year, he realized that there was something missing in his life. He decided to move back to Fort Collins and get his old job back at the Stonehouse Grille. Eventually, he moved into a bar management position, which he held for three years. It was during this time that he realized he wanted to make a career in the hospitality industry. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in adult education in training in the School of Education at CSU, alongside his new position as the restaurant operations instructor at CSU's Aspen Grille. In 2004, Garrett Overlee earned his B.S. from CSU's Restaurant and Resort Management Program, which has since been renamed Hospitality Management. A Colorado native from the Denver area, he graduated in 2005 with an Associate of Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Denver, and has been chef instructor at the Aspen Grille since 2011. He is passionate about food, and believes that the key to being a successful chef is by leading others through excellent service. As the chef instructor, he enjoys highlighting all the fresh and local ingredients that Colorado has to offer. He believes that by combining these quality ingredients with the work of passionate students, each one of the undergraduates can express their inner "chef" at the Aspen Grille. The Aspen Grille will be open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., from Feb. 10 to the end of the regular semester. The Aspen Grille is located on the second floor of the Lory Student Center, inside the University Club. Walk-ins are welcome, and reservations can be made here, through the online reservation system.

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CSU offers new website for healthy living

image of Live Eat Play sealColorado State University has launched a new website with resources and tips on how to lead a healthy lifestyle — and stay true to those new year’s resolutions. The site, called “Live Eat Play,” includes information on exercise and various diets, cooking tips, health foods and maintaining a good work/life balance. A collaboration among CSU Extension, the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and the Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center, it can be found at www.liveeatplay.colostate.edu. Laura Bellows, an assistant professor in the FSHN department and an Extension specialist for nutrition, said the website has been several years in the making and served as a learning lab for the undergraduate and graduate students who worked on it. “As a student, working on Live Eat Play has taught me the process from initial brainstorm to finish to produce relevant nutrition and health information in a positive and engaging light,” said Emily Clyatt, an undergrad student who worked on the project. “It has been a great experience — we always work as a team and learn as we go.” 'Incredible opportunity' “My graduate work as a coauthor for the Live Eat Play website has been an incredible opportunity,” said grad student Kelly Niebaum. “Each day I gain valuable professional writing experience and spend my time researching what I love most — nutrition and healthful living. Nutrient-dense foods, lifestyle tips and ways to play in Colorado are a few of the many topics I have written about. Combining science-based research with creativity is a stimulating challenge that creates a rewarding work environment.” Bellows said students from the Department of Health and Exercise Science and Colorado School of Public Health have also worked on the site, which is constantly evolving. Both CSU Extension and The Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center use the Live Eat Play website to supplement nutrition, weight loss, and diabetes classes as well as worksite wellness presentations. “The Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center also uses its materials for individual clients as a way to provide nutrition information immediately and for ongoing support once they are on their own.” said Melissa Wdowik, director of the Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center.

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Exploring the health benefits of tea

Drinking a steaming hot cup of cocoa or a flavored latte during the frigid winter months can be just the thing to get you warmed up, but can also be a source of hidden calories. Choose your beverages wisely and be careful of added sugars and high calories. A nice hot cup of tea can keep you warm while being low in calories and providing many added health benefits.

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