Rising to the challenge of creative college desserts

By Michelle Belain 

Rider Dining began profiling new staff members on its Instagram account this semester, and Steve Hyder, the new lead baker, was the first to appear in the series.

Before joining Aramark and becoming Daly’s lead baker, Hyder worked for a bakery, a family business. However, after years of work with the family, Hyder found an available position offered by Aramark. It provided him an opportunity for growth.

Just a couple of weeks after he applied for the position, Hyder got the phone call. He came aboard and began working at Rider Dining on Labor Day of this year. He has been enjoying it ever since.

“What really matters the most is to see the students’ smiling faces,” Hyder said.

Hyder loves working at Daly’s because there are a lot of positive things that Aramark and the students give to him.

Aramark has enabled him to be as creative as he wants with the formation and decoration of his items. In addition, the company has allowed him to make adjustments to products in order to satisfy students.

Moreover, Hyder frequently asks students for their feedback and enjoys listening to their opinions, whether positive or negative, because it is something that drives him to do better.

“If I don’t get their feedback, I will never improve,” Hyder said.

His favorite thing about creating the desserts for students is that they always push him to try different things. Even though he has to repeat certain items because of high demand, he tries his best to come up with different desserts for lunch and dinner.

“I try to be as creative as I can,” he said.

Throughout his 23 years of baking experience, Hyder has gained time-management skills and the ability to not only make his products pleasing to the palate, but easy on the eyes, as well.

“You eat with your eyes first, then with your mouth,” he said.

So far, the biggest challenge that his company and guests have given him from working at Daly’s is to constantly be changing and innovating his products.

“I have to think outside the box with only a minimum amount of ingredients that I’m given; I always feel that I can make more with less,” Hyder said.

The process has been a challenge for him, but one that he refers to as a “fun challenge.”

So, what’s his favorite dessert to make at Daly’s? Brownies.

“Why? Because who doesn’t love brownies?” he said. “I really enjoy [making them] because I know that [students] are going to be satisfied and that’s an enjoyment for me.”

After work, he is eager to go home to his family and play with his 3-year-old son.

Besides being a devoted father, Hyder is an avid golfer and defines himself as “a big golf fanatic.”

Daly’s director, Vincent Papp, has noticed that because of Hyder’s experience, Rider Dining was able to offer house-made desserts created from scratch, as opposed to ordering pre-packaged ones.

“[He] has helped lift the program to another level,” Papp said.


Originally printed in the 11/09/16 edition.

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