Food & Drink International - Spring 2017 Volume 1 - 69
Michigan State University Culinary Services
halls and completing $140 million in
renovations to its remaining facilities.
Renovations were completed in 2014.
"When we were planning the renovations, we saw that even though we were
serving great food, it was in an environment that was very dated," Procopio
says. "You can have great food on the
center of your plate, but if you're eating in a dark room, it doesn't make for a
In addition to the renovations, the
dining halls extended their hours to 7
a.m. to midnight daily, and each dining
hall began offering a distinct menu. For
example, one of the halls, dubbed "The
Edge," includes a Tandoori oven offering authentic Indian and global fare.
Dishes are planned and prepared in
part by the university's staff of 16 professional chefs.
"We call this 'destination dining,'"
Procopio says. "We have created different experiences in our nine dining halls
because we wanted students to have the
opportunity to experience foods from
different cultures. We want to break up
the boredom of students who dine with
us every day."
MSU Culinary Services in recent
years has added a number of dietary
options for students with allergies as
well as students with faith-based diets.
This includes designating two sites as
nut and peanut allergy friendly zones,
where peanuts and tree nuts are not
served in any meal. "All of our fulltime employees, including myself, go
through a food management certification and allergen training program," he
adds. The university also offers kosher
and halal options.
The department's plans include expanding its concession offerings in the
Breslin Student Events Center, a multipurpose athletic and events space now
being renovated. Expansion plans include adding ranges, flattop grills and
other equipment to several concession
stands, which will allow the preparation of new and different food items.
"In the past, we've been limited in our
preparation methods at concessions,
such as only being able to boil hot dogs
and bake pizza on site," Procopio says.
"Now, we'll be able to offer a more
complex menu." Additionally, a sous
chef will be joining the concession
team to oversee the menu offerings.
Renovations are slated for completion
The department in 2017 will also
open a 5,000-square-foot urban market near a new student apartment complex. The marketplace concept will
provide a full offering of products including produce, meats, dairy and specialty items. A deli and grill will offer
customers salads, sides and hot and
cold entrée selections. The Combo-XChange program will also be available
for students to utilize. "We haven't attempted anything at this size or scale
before," he adds.
Procopio called the new concept an
exciting venture for the MSU Culinary
Services department. "Developing a
grocery store concept has new and different challenges than we've encountered previously with our convenience
stores," he says. "Special project teams
within the division have come together
to offer their expertise and ensure this
is a successful venture. When we open
next August, we anticipate serving students and staff as well as community
members who live nearby."
MSU Culinary Services has increased its retail sales from $4,500 annually to $14 million after combining its retail and dining functions. <<
food & drink international * spring 2017 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com