Culinary staff also prepare made-to-order wraps here because they have access to a large cold surface. Varieties include vegetables and buffalo chicken, turkey and cheese, chicken and potato or garden salad and house chips.
Station five utilizes a small production cooking line, which stands across the platform's back wall and contains a rotisserie, smoker, and combi oven that support the exhibition food platform. This area will also continue to serve as a temporary production line for catering until the main catering equipment is installed in the production kitchen in the future.
Adjacent to the main exhibition platform, is a chef's table called the Cook's Nook. "This dine-with-the-chef feature is enclosed in glass to give the guests a private feel, while still being engaged with the kitchen, servery and dining areas," Midden says. The area has a bold blue pallet and dramatic pendant LED lighting over a custom quartz round table. Caf√© customers can see this area from across the servery. Just outside the Cook's Nook are two large bar-height community tables that follow the curve of the space.
To take advantage of this dining option, guests request use of the space and then work with chefs to design a unique menu. "There's a lot of interaction with chefs," Klippel says. "It's fun for the chefs to be very creative with their menus. Eventually, we may use this area to offer classes and Iron Chef competitions."
Across the dining room from the exhibition cooking is the pizza and bakery station. Staff prepare pizza on a custom preparation table that stands behind a glass panel that allows students to see the action. "Staff members make the crusts in the back of the house and deliver to the front as needed," Klippel says. The circular hearth deck oven with a 30-foot stainless steel fa√ßade backs up to a colorful mosaic wall and bakes pizza, casseroles, toasted sandwiches and baked goods. On the front counter sits a self-service refrigerated glass case.
Though Klippel didn't have much input into the kitchen design, he calls it a "chef's playground because there are plenty of pieces of equipment to utilize and be creative." He admits he and the staff are "still playing with equipment to see what it can do for us." For instance, he hasn't worked with this type of pizza oven before, so he has enjoyed experimenting and finding the right consistency for the dough. He also enjoys experimenting with the rotisserie and smoker.
The Shack, a late-night retail operation, is attached to and shares equipment and staffing with the pizza platform. The venue offers coffee, espresso, baked and refrigerated case goods, grab-and-go menu items and soda fountain beverages. The Shack's curvilinear glass walls and windows offer customers and staff a full view of the servery and dining areas, providing a sense of synergy and community between the two venues. The Shack is self-supporting and operates during and after the main servery is closed. (Once customers step into The Shack, they can't return back to the caf√©.) Students enjoy casual dining and socializing in the relaxed atmosphere, and The Shack offers a variety of seating options including banquettes, lounge seating and a high bar counter.