As needed, culinary staff move food to the kitchen's prep area, which is equipped with prep tables and sinks. Here, they cut vegetables, butcher meats and slice cheeses. Since the kitchen is primarily used for bulk cooking and preparation to support the servery's food platforms, this area also contains standard steamline equipment, including a 10-rack combi oven for roasting meats and vegetables and baking breads, a 25-gallon tilting kettle for making chicken, veal and vegetable stocks and a wide-vessel, 40-gallon tilting skillet for making soups, braising meat, toasting rice, and cooking mashed potatoes and pasta.
The back kitchen includes a small baking area where staff make items such as flatbread dough for pizza. They use a mixer to prepare the dough and then place it on racks for proofing. Usually the dough racks are placed in a refrigerator overnight. Staff take the dough out the next day, roll it out and bake pizzas in the stone brick oven before taking the finished products to the pizza station out front.
Eventually the kitchen will be responsible for catering events larger than it presently can handle. "In order to accommodate the future demand of growth and catering, we planned and placed the infrastructure needed for the future catering cookline equipment that will be installed," Browne says. "The kitchen was designed for growth with a large preparation area and spacious scullery."
"We're currently catering events for up to 800 guests," says Davin Klippel, executive chef with Bon Appétit Management Company. "When this business increases, we'll be well set up to handle much greater volume on a regular basis."
As part of the university's sustainability program, the back and front of the house use high-efficiency equipment and exhaust hoods. High-efficiency exhaust hoods reduce the amount of air the facility exhausts, which in turn reduces energy consumption for exhaust fans and make-up air fans, and also helps lower air conditioning costs.
"A parallel refrigeration rack system reduces energy and installation costs," says Browne. "That's because a parallel refrigeration system uses fewer larger compressors serving more equipment pieces in lieu of multiple compressors serving just a few each. Since more devices are run off of each large compressor, less refrigeration line runs were required, lowering installation costs. Also, since fewer large compressors use less energy than many small ones, there is energy savings as well." Another energy-efficient element is the use of ice storage in the HVAC systems. The central plant contains an ice-creation storage facility that generates ice late at night and early in the morning when energy costs are lower. The ice is then used throughout the day.