Many USF students love the crepes served in the cafeteria. They are willing to endure long lines and spend valuable lunch time waiting for their chance to order a crepe and chat with Tito Piansay, the crepe station chef. He engages his customers and has a reputation not only for his phenomenal crepes, but for his personable customer service. Although crepes are the initial draw for most students, it is Tito’s company, as students often call him, that keeps customers coming back.
For Piansay, being a chef at USF just “fell into his lap.” He earned a BA from La Salle University in the Philippines, not for culinary arts but for Psychology. He never used his degree though and instead turned to cooking. Piansay moved to San Francisco 30 years ago and has been working for Bon Appétit at USF for about ten years. Luckily for us, he still loves coming to work everyday. “I like the energy,” he said. “The students are always waiting for me. I kind of like that.”
Although Piansay loves making food, being a chef means more to him than creating crepes behind a counter. “I love my people, my regulars,” he said. “We have a little interaction every time someone wants me to make a crepe for him or her. I’m serving food, something that goes into your mouth. It’s not like selling a car.”
The dining culture and social aspects of cooking and eating meals together are often lost in the cafeteria flurry, but Piansay makes sure to serve it up with his crepes. So when you come up to buy a crepe for breakfast or lunch, expect attention.
As for his favorite crepe, he says, “Tomato, pesto and spinach. But the majority of students love chicken with Brie and some other ingredients. Some students love ten different things mixed in there.”
Crepes are being made even more this year than in the past due to their rising popularity. They are now available Monday through Friday at breakfast and lunch. Piansay really likes the dessert crepes, but they have yet to be on the menu this year.
The crepe station sits in the front now and offers a wide variety of ingredients. You can choose between chicken, sun dried tomatoes, Brie cheese, pesto, portobello mushrooms and so much more. All of that is good, but the best part is Chef Tito Piansay smiling and standing behind the counter.
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