Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

JUL 2018

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JUNE 2018 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 67 classroom-style seating. Since its open- ing, Northeastern has hosted nearly 500 chef demonstrations, cooking classes and interactive display cooking events with local and national celebrity chefs and cookbook authors. A member of both the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC) and Teaching Kitchen Collaborative (TKC), the school also hosts student groups throughout the year, with events rang- ing from healthy eating tutorials to an overview of campus dining operations. Taking its mission to engage and educate students around food to a higher level, Stanford University's Residential & Dining Enterprises partnered with the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation in 2015 to create The Teaching Kitchen @ Stanford. It offers a popular nine-week course based on a customized version of Oliver's Cook Smart Program curriculum, which focuses on basic culinary skills and nutrition education. Stanford also hosts faculty and staff cooking classes in this space and collaborates with academic departments, from chemistry to hu- manities, to provide a laboratory setting for courses with food-related themes. Stanford, too, is part of both the MCURC and TKC, the latter being a network of thought-leading organi- zations with existing and/or planned teaching kitchens. Launched in 2016, the TKC is jointly led by The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Its premise: Teaching people about food, nutrition and cooking in a small-group, hands-on setting can be a powerful catalyst for enhanced personal and public health. The collaborative offers a variety of resources and guidance to organizations looking to add teaching kitchen initiatives (information at www.tkcollaborative.org). Small Spaces, Big Impact The goals aspired to and value cre- ated via teaching kitchens may be big, but the spaces themselves need not be. The Teaching Kitchen Collaborative outlines four basic options, depending on program goals, desired curriculum, available space and budget: 1. Mobile Cart: A portable and self- contained unit with a simple cook- ing element and access to power suitable for simple demonstrations. 2. Modular/Pop-Up Kitchen: A temporary teaching kitchen set up within an existing commercial kitchen or other available room with sufficient space for workstations and access to power, ventilation, water and storage. 3. Pod or Container Kitchen: A self- contained, mobile kitchen (i.e., built from a shipping container) that can be transported via trailer or truck and that typically contains a genera- tor as well as water and waste tanks. Such kitchens offer versatility and the ability to service multiple cam- puses/locations but require suitable outdoor spaces in which to operate. 4. Built-In Kitchen: A dedicated, per- manent kitchen space designed and equipped for full-service operation, ongoing teaching of larger groups and the hosting of educational cook- ing and team-building events on a recurring basis. An increasing number of noncom- mercial foodservice organizations now make the investment in built-in kitchens, says Lenny Condenzio, chief operating officer and executive princi- pal at Ricca Design Studios. "You don't need a lot of square footage to do a very effective and inviting teaching kitchen," he says. "Six hundred to 800 square feet is plenty. It can be a separate room or a portion of a room that can be closed off as needed, often adjacent to a dining hall or servery, which creates efficien- cies for storage, etcetera. We've even designed a teaching kitchen element directly into a serving line." That project, at Kansas State University's Kramer Dining Center, features a fully equipped teaching platform dubbed The Plate. It hosts classes and culinary workshops taught by dining services' staff and guest chefs and provides food and wellness pro- gramming for residence hall students. "They didn't want to dedicate a whole room for it, so it's integrated into one end of the servery. It has enough space to pull tables up in front when de- sired," Condenzio notes. "When there's a class or a demo doing on, a video cam- era positioned above the line projects the activity onto big screens overhead. Otherwise, the screens are just used for other communication or merchandising purposes. However you're configuring it, you don't want to design a space that will only be used a couple of times a week," Condenzio cautions. "Flexibility and adaptability are important." Another recent Ricca project, at the University of Vermont, incorporates a teaching kitchen in the newly renovated Central Campus Residence and Dining Hall. Dubbed Discovery Kitchen, the space provides experiential culinary education focused in three key areas — health, culture and sustainability — and familiarizes students with where their food comes from and how to prepare it. A separate room off the dining hall, it can function as part of the regular serv- ery station during meal periods, or staff can close it off via sliding barn-style doors during teaching kitchen events. It, too, is small — less than 800 square feet — with rows of prep tables and stools, induction burners with drop-down power connections and space for approximately 20 students. That capacity jibes with recommen- dations from Rebecca Oetjen, facilities project manager at the CIA in Hyde Park, N.Y., which has 42 teaching kitchens across its campus. They range from multipurpose kitchens where classes such as Culinary Fundamentals take place, to bakeshops, restaurant and production kitchens that serve students and the pub- lic alike and double as learning labs. "Our classes have a maximum of 20 students, each with their own

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