Food Services opens new catering facility
Selena Ponio | Thursday, November 13, 2014
Notre Dame Food Services introduced a new facility, the Center for Culinary Excellence (CCE), with a grand opening on Nov. 11. This facility was formerly known as the Food Services Support Facility, and it now prepares food for Notre Dame’s cafés, dining halls and catered events.
The CCE houses a new catering kitchen, bake shop and Grab-n-Go program. The relocation of catering at North Dining Hall to the CCE opens up the opportunity for possible renovations in North Dining Hall.
“Our goal is to improve student dining as well as our culinary experience on campus,” John Glon, manager of the CCE, said. “We have our own kitchen here, which we’ve built so that the staff at North Dining Hall can fully concentrate on the students.”
The CCE achieves the goal of separating the student dining experience from the catering experience.
“Chris Abayasinghe, director of Food Services, has put a big emphasis on separating our student dining staff from our catering staff to use those two as separate entities,” Glon said.
Glon said in the past, dorms were built closer to North Dining Hall but eventually started to shift south.
“Back in the 90s, South Dining Hall did mostly catering, and North Dining Hall did most of student dining due to location,” he said.
Glon said the rapid growth in catering production at Notre Dame has called for efforts to balance both the student dining experience with catering.
“Really, the biggest driving reason [for the CCE] was to take care of our customers better and take both catering and student dining with better respect to culinary excellence,” Glon said.
Food Services also takes pride in its efforts for sustainability, and with the establishment of the CCE, food supplies will be delivered directly to campus units instead of being delivered to a central storage area first, Glon said.
Throughout all these changes, Glon said his favorite part of the job and the overall experience has been the challenges.
“The most rewarding part is when we exceed the expectations of the students and the customers, and we achieve what we are trying to do,” Glon said.