Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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The new Culinary Support Kitchen will enhance OHIO's ability to use local produce.

Photo courtesy of: Carlos Samano

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Culinary Services unveils new Culinary Support Kitchen

Beginning in December, Ohio University will have an even greater capacity to produce fresh product and a variety of new service items on the Athens campus thanks to the completion of its Culinary Support Kitchen.

The venue is a state-of-the-art facility featuring a full production kitchen and cook-chill system, a new direction in menu preparation. The cook-chill system allows for a variety of efficiencies resulting from the ability to prepare product at one central location and in large batches. In turn, the product can be blast chilled and stored at select temperatures to maintain its freshness over an extended period.

The cook-chill system will enable Ohio University Culinary Services to further increase its usage of local products and ingredients, as the system allows these products to be prepared and used within recipes, maintaining product freshness in storage, when local produce is scarce. These efforts aid in strengthening Culinary Services’ commitments to supporting the local economy.

“Our Culinary Services staff has made great efforts to incorporate local ingredients into our menus,” said Brian Thompson, director of auxiliaries. “The Culinary Support Kitchen allows us to do this at a greater level by purchasing items when they are in season and preparing them right here on campus. Our customers will benefit from an increase in product consistency and local flavors.”

In addition to Culinary Services’ current production of bakery items and vegetable preparation at its Central Food Facility, the Culinary Support Kitchen will now be able to produce soups, sauces, pastas, smoked meats and more in increased volumes using the cook-chill process and new production equipment.

This project completion is one of several phases of renovation to the Central Food Facility, with subsequent construction work to occur over the coming two years.

To learn more about Culinary Services’ progress, please visit www.ohio.edu/food.