New BYU super kitchen all about freshness

by | May 25, 2010

News from Utah

The turkey and gravy, macaroni and cheese, and dinner rolls taste just like mom used to make — if mom had been cooking 31,000 meals a day. Monumentally larger than the average kitchen, BYU's new super kitchen, the Culinary Support Center, is the recently completed hub where all the food for campus is diced, sliced, chopped, cooked, baked, stewed and steamed.

BYU cooks, chefs and bakers have a menu of nearly 300 different items, from potato salad to pork chops, barbecued ribs to bagels and chocolate chip cookies to chicken poblano soup.

They can cook up to 1,000 pounds of meat at one time, and their pasta and soup vats, which look like mini hot tubs, hold 100 gallons of water. The pasta strainer is raised and lowered by a crane.

Previously, the university's mountains of food were prepared in several kitchens across campus. It wasn't a bad system, but it meant more delivery stops, increased chance for food variation and error, and greater waste.

The recently renovated BYU Creamery building allows the chefs additional room and equipment to prepare meals using the freshest ingredients and under strict quality and temperature controls. The school reports directly to the Utah State Board of Health.

"If BYU is going to produce it, let's make it as fresh as possible," said Dean Wright, director of BYU dining services. "We built this facility for the next 30 years with the goal of providing the very freshest products."

The center is just now operating at full capacity after its late 2009 completion.

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