Starnes is the executive chef at Tater Jane’s, which relocated from Sumiton to Bevill State Community College’s Jasper campus in January 2011.
Her goal is to bring diversity to the standard cafeteria menu. She switches up the meat and vegetables offered on the cafeteria line daily and also cooks hand-cut and hand-battered chicken tenders.
Earlier this semester, Starnes started unveiling a new line of burgers. The group of students who served as taste testers also helped name them.
There are now more than a dozen burgers on the list with two more still in the development stage.
The student favorite so far is “The Miyagi,” which features tomato, red onion, sesame ginger coleslaw and pepper jack cheese on top of a hamburger patty.
Another popular choice is “The Pepper Jack Smack” because of its combination of sweetness (strawberry jam) and spiciness (pepper jack cheese and French fried onions).
“The kids say it tastes like a sausage biscuit,” Starnes said.
Those who have a hankering for breakfast might enjoy “The Sunshine,” which is topped with a hashbrown patty, sunny side egg and bacon as well as ketchup, tomato and cheddar cheese.
Tater Jane’s offers a “Pimento Cheese Burger” for diners who crave tanginess and “Jalapeño Hotness” for those who want their burgers to have a real kick.
Barbecue lovers will appreciate the “Bull Ring,” which includes a homemade barbecue-based sauce in addition to cheddar cheese, bacon and a fried onion ring.
One of the most uniquely-named items on the menu is the “Redneck Take-Out” — a battered and deep fried patty topped with sweet chili sauce, tomato, lettuce and white American cheese.
In spite of the Texas Godfather’s name, the title of top burger belongs to “The Big Cheese.” The patty is served between two grilled cheese sandwiches and then topped with lettuce, tomato, pickle, cheddar cheese, bacon, mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup.
“Boys, especially the athletes, love that one. When we bring it out, it’s always the same reaction. They don’t expect it to be that big,” said Starnes’ mother, Diane.
Diane Starnes said her daughter has a knack for turning seemingly mismatched ingredients into delicious dishes.
Carina Starnes said she was able to be so creative with the new offerings because she doesn’t like burgers.
“I eat burger-less burgers, so I just think about what tastes might go well together and what I would want on there,” she said.
Starnes added that she has been pleasantly surprised by the popularity of the new burgers. So far, none have failed the taste test.
However, Starnes said she is still trying to incorporate one ingredient into a burger that has yet to be unveiled.
“I haven’t quite figured out the one with guacamole on it because the kids say that they don’t like guacamole. It’s coming soon. I’m just not sure when yet,” Starnes said.
Tater Jane’s is located in the Dr. Harold Wade Math and Science Building and is open to the public.