chef jay and student

"This is the Best Job in the World."
-Chef Jay

Recently, we sat down with Jay Vetter to see why he thinks his job as Executive Chef at Elon University is the best job he’s ever had.

Q: Have you always been into food?

A: I’d say definitely. I grew up on a small family farm in West Virginia, so food was something that brought us together. I’ve always done something that involved food—I owned an inn and a few restaurants and was really into farm to fork before it was even a thing.

Q: What’s your favorite recipe?

A: I love anything pickled. It reminds me of spring when I was a child. Fresh spinach would be delivered to our door, and my grandmother would make a 3-2-1 dressing. It’s something I still make today.

Q: Why Harvest Table?

A: Harvest Table is doing things differently. As a chef, we have more creative freedom to express ourselves–and that’s what I was missing in my previous career. Making friends with the farmers is built into my day-to-day and that allows me to get creative with seasonal ingredients. Just the other day, we purchased surplus corn. It was fresh, in season, and buying local helped eliminate the need for packaging and storing. So, we drove our corn back to campus and set up a Mexican street corn station– the students were excited to try something new.

Q: What do you like most about your team?

A: We’re like-minded. We all have the same passion for food, we have integrity around the ingredients and we’re not going to take shortcuts. It might be harder to produce something from scratch, but we know the end result makes a big difference.

chef in kitchen
We’re like-minded. We all have the same passion for food, we have integrity around the ingredients and we’re not going to take shortcuts. It might be harder to produce something from scratch, but we know the end result makes a big difference. Jay Vetter

Q: What’s your favorite part of the job?

A: My first day, I started visiting farmers markets and helped cultivate local partnerships, whether that was with restaurant chefs or partners. We have great ingredients growing in our backyard and usually, those people are just as passionate about their ingredients as we are about cooking, and we’re able to change their lives.

Cultivating Quality

Understanding the value of food sourcing, culinary creativity, and good partnerships—It makes sense Chef Jay thinks his job at Harvest Table is the best in the world.

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Instagram post 2192218578089336999_7773517215 The Harvest Table team was out in full-force this week introducing our inspired food experiences to a new campus community. Interested in dining with us? Check the link in our bio! #harvesttablecg #hospitality #inspiredfood
Instagram post 2183057571769106595_7773517215 #Repost @inharvest with @get_repost
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This week The Farmers Market at High Point (N.C.) University served up these gorgeous tacos filled with a 50/50 blend of ground beef and our flavorful and highly nutritious Greenwheat Freekeh (TM), all seasoned with a spice mix produced by Harvest Table Culinary Group. A qualified hit with students! 🌞
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#grains #wholegrain #wholegrains #legumes #lentils #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoods #plantforward #vegcentric #betterforyou #ancientgrains #foodservice #foodserviceindustry #foodmanufacturing #foodmanufacturers #foodprocessing #retailfood #privatelabelfoods #naturalfoods #foodinnovation #heirloomgrains #foodtrends #foodtrends2019 #foodtrends2020 #HarvestTableCG #HPUDining #tacos #studentdining #freekeh @harvesttablecg @hpudining @chefjayz
Instagram post 2177916935327848348_7773517215 On the heels of the first snowstorm of the season in Upstate New York, our hospitality team is always ready to welcome Guests to the table! #harvesttablecg
Instagram post 2164909731888859412_7773517215 We are proud to announce that we have partnered with @FarmForward, a non-profit organization that implements innovative strategies to promote conscientious food choices, reduce farmed animal suffering, and advance sustainable agriculture, as part of its Leadership Circle. To read the full announcement, click the link in bio.  #htculinary #farmforward
Instagram post 2104597576904160339_7773517215 Harvest Table is attending the American Culinary Federation’s National Convention -the country’s largest and most prestigious professional chef organization. Two of our chefs became certified this year and are being celebrated on this massive wall on the trade show floor. Congratulations again to Chef Jordan Rogers from @deacondining and Chef Christian Froelich from @hpudining for earning the Certified Executive Chef this year. #acfchefs #acfnatcon @acf_chefs
Instagram post 2101048412343316071_7773517215 We are proud to announce a new partnership with @UniversityofRedlands! Join us this year at the Table at Irvine Commons. Our hospitality team @HTRedlands has been preparing all summer for your arrival! #HTCulinary #hospitality #kitchenbrigade
Instagram post 2096644427123523776_7773517215 Today is a beautiful day for al fresco dining! Our catering team is standing by to help you plan your next event. #HTCulinary #catering #freshlyprepared #locallyprocured
Instagram post 2095233694323039697_7773517215 Fresh herbs are in full abundance in our gardens. This basil, besides being antioxidant-rich, tastes delicious! We use basil in many dishes but is most popular in pasta sauces, pesto sandwich spreads, and fresh salads. #HTCulinary #locallyprocured
Instagram post 2093790682813519865_7773517215 Our Chef's Council gets together every month to innovate new recipes and menus. We'd love to hear from you on subjects for our monthly ideation sessions. Please comment! #HTCulinary #ethnicfood #sustainability #napkintalk
Instagram post 2091616333943154340_7773517215 Our kitchen brigade is committed to scratch, small-batch cookery, personalized at the time of service. We look forward to preparing restaurant quality meals. #HTCulinary #freshlyprepared #smallbatch #personalized #kitchenbrigade
Instagram post 2090160013268818005_7773517215 We value your feedback and strive to meet all special dietary needs. #HTCulinary #napkintalk #guestfeedback
Instagram post 2088702111164384836_7773517215 We pride ourselves on menu transparency. All our menu items are available at our kiosk, at the point of service and online for your mobile device -complete with ingredient and allergen information. #HTCulinary #menutransparency #nutritionallybalanced
Instagram post 2086550674199490598_7773517215 The members of our hospitality team are committed to building communities on campus through inspired food experiences. Come join us at the table! #HTCulinary #community #inspiredfoodexperiences #hospitality
Instagram post 2085093355901930845_7773517215 This is the time of year we work with #localfarmers on growing schedules and crop forecasting to ensure we make the most of #seasonalproduce #HTCulinary #locallyprocured #localproduce #supportfarmers
Instagram post 2083593917697166257_7773517215 Our Chef's Council is busy working on new recipes and curating new menus for you! Can't wait to share them with you next semester! #HTCulinary #kitchenbrigade #recipecollection #freshlyprepared
Instagram post 2048123111993152176_7773517215 Did you know our signature #granolabar changes every season? We have new flavors coming your way! Order for your next #catering event, stop by the market or grab one from a #HTCulinary #restaurant near you! #AdditiveFree #FreshlyPrepared #granola #snack #energyonthego
Instagram post 2045103279456742200_7773517215 Our Chief Culinary Officer, Chef Matthew teamed up with Chef Daniel and represented his ACF Chapter at the New England Chef's Showdown this week and won! Check out the details here: http://bit.ly/2HsD1JG #acfchefs
Instagram post 2044415361952157862_7773517215 What better way to celebrate #NationalChocolateChipDay then with a #FreshlyBaked #ChocolateChipCookie? Our #CookieJar is full; stop on by at #HTCulinary restaurant near you! #AdditiveFree #ResponsiblySourced #FreshlyPrepared #Chocolate #cookiesandmilk
Instagram post 2043049592687048461_7773517215 In the vendor spotlight today is our partners at Maple View Farms, supplying our #restaurants in North Carolina with fresh #icecream! #HTCulinary #LocallyProcured Maple View Farm Ice Cream