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KNOXVILLE — Asian and Italian fare will flavor the menu at the Ready for the World Cafe Feb. 25-27.

The menu, designed by students Aaron Swersky and Daniel Knopf, will include Chinese napa cabbage salad, vegetable fried rice, teriyaki pork chops, three cheese manicotti, creamed spinach, chicken parmesan, shrimp and cheese grits and assorted desserts.

The café — an international buffet — is operated by students in the advanced food production and service management class. It is open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the Hermitage Room on the third floor of the University Center.

The Ready for the World Cafe was the brainchild of John Antun, assistant professor and director of the retail, hospitality and tourism management department. Antun, a certified executive chef with a doctorate in higher education administration, has spent more than 40 years in the hospitality industry and opened and operated four successful restaurants in the New York metropolitan area.

Although ARAMARK, UT’s provider of dining services, provides the food and its employees do the cooking, students provide the recipes and manage the employees. Students take turns serving as general manager of the café. The cafe menu changes weekly.

Diners pay $10 for the all-you-can-eat buffet or $8.50 for a plate of food to carry out.
Antun said students chose the name “Ready for the World Café” because their project fits well into the university’s international and intercultural initiative, also called Ready for the World.

The goal of Ready for the World is to transform the campus into a culture of diversity that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century. The initiative involves increasing the diversity among students, faculty and staff; infusing the curriculum with international and intercultural content; expanding study-abroad and work-study opportunities; and encouraging students to take advantage of all of these opportunities.

For more information about Ready for the World, see


Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,