Mason’s New Chef Adds Savory to Sweet in the Muffin Case

Posted: July 7, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christina Mennella

Customers peering into the pastry case at La Patisserie, an eatery on Mason’s Fairfax Campus, may be in for a big surprise. On the rack next to traditional favorites, such as blueberry muffins and chocolate croissants, they may find a corn dog muffin. Yes, a corn dog muffin.

“Executive Chef Peter Schoebel heartily believes in balanced cuisine, and that means savory where there is sweet,” says Michael Galvin, marketing and community affairs manager for Dining Services. “Some of the muffins we might see in the next few weeks and months are tamale, broccoli and feta cheese, Philly cheese steak, ham and cheese, and zucchini. And how about a real corn muffin, made with corn meal and whole cooked corn kernels?”

The new muffins look great and are selling well, according to Schoebel, who developed the recipes. He also moved the baking of the pastries in house.

“Rather than outsourcing them, I started an on-campus baking program,” he says. “I just think it is better this way. We have more control over the varieties, flavor profiles and quality. Besides that, it’s fun!”

Zeena Hassan, a sophomore majoring in history, likes the ambience at La Patisserie and has been a frequent customer since she enrolled in Mason last year. She also loves the muffins.

“My favorite is the banana nut; it’s delicious.” After hearing about the new muffin flavors, she said, “I can’t wait to try those; the only muffins I’ve ever eaten are sweet.”

“I like the in-house baking program,” says Malinda Fernando, retail manager for La Patisserie. “I don’t have to order from other bakers anymore. We have two bakers, and they both do a great job. Chef Peter is someone we can rely on here at La Patisserie.”

Schoebel, who graduated first in his class from the Culinary Institute of America, recently joined the university staff. He has 20 years of experience, six of those in dining services jobs similar to his job at Mason.

“I really like working at Mason,” Schoebel says. “The students are a lot of fun and great to work with.”

“Chef Peter is a true culinary rock star we’re lucky to have,” says Galvin. “Students love him. The recipes he’s been testing for service in Southside [Mason’s newest dining facility opening this fall] have been delectable and high quality, made with fresh seasonal ingredients and cooked and seasoned to perfection. Look for his influence to pervade the entire campus.”

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