Posted on June 1, 2022 in Articles
Walk in on any given day and you’ll find Beaumont’s kitchen and dining hall teeming with activity. This important space is buzzing with student life from breakfast and lunch, studying and collaboration, and as a stopover after classes and before sports at the end of the day. Faculty and staff also gravitate here for lunch and coffee. It is an important space for our community.
For this reason, as part of our campus upgrades beginning this spring, we will be replacing our vintage 1965-style dining space with a state-of-the-art kitchen and modern dining hall with more and updated seating options, including an outdoor dining area and air conditioning.
“When you come back to your high school, you want somethings to be the same. But there are somethings about your high school that you think maybe should have changed. The dining hall is one of these places. It’s time,” shares Dorothy Russo Moulthrop ’91 as she looks forward to these upgrades.
Chef Bo Mueller
Chef Bo, tell us what you are most looking forward to with the kitchen redesign?
There is so much to look forward to and I am so excited about the future of our food program. The kitchen is designed to enhance our sense of community and gathering. One of my favorite new features is the addition of a Chef’s Table – a bumped-out section with seating that will allow students to interact with the kitchen team, watch us cook, and enjoy our freshly made food prepared right in front of them. This section will live up to the saying “the eyes eat first.”
This sense of community will continue into the design of the dining room that features a variety of new tables with comfortable seating and the addition of an outdoor dining area.
We are also adding a café with a coffee bar, comfortable seating and warm lighting. I am really looking forward to the “feel” of the new kitchen. Our design will be sleek and will optimize current trends and ultimately it will allow us to offer a wider variety of options on a daily basis – soups, hot entrées, a pizza kitchen, salad bar, pre-order options with food available after school, and built-in coolers for our grab and go items.
What role does technology play in the new kitchen?
We are looking forward to using new technology to help make the dining experience easier, faster and more efficient. Our upgraded POS (Point of Sales) system will allow our students to get their orders faster and made to their specifications. Students will be able to pre-order their salads or sandwiches right from their tables and then receive a text message when it is ready for pickup. They can use their smart devices to see the menu and then “tap and pay” with their phones as they come through the line. With this new speed and efficiency, we will get our students through the line and enjoying their lunch time with their friends faster than ever.
Can you share a little more about sustainability for the new space?
Sustainability is an important goal for us. The entire remodel will focus on efficiency – with our lighting, appliances, and our waste disposal area which will offer the option recycling, composting, and landfill.
Recently the Beaumont kitchen teamed with local composting company, Rust Belt Riders, and has already begun composting in the kitchen and diverting food scraps from the landfills. In time we will be able to chart tangible results from our composting. This will include the number of materials kept from landfills and the amount of metric tons of CO2 we keep out of the atmosphere.
Our composting is turned into nutrient dense soil which is then donated to inner city gardens to help grow sustainable food for people who may be struggling to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
What’s the first meal you plan to prepare in your new kitchen?
It’s funny as a couple people have asked me what we will serve when the kitchen firsts opens. Truth is, I don’t know! I am just so excited about the potential that this kitchen brings that I can’t wait to dive in and come up with new menus.
Executive Sous Chef Samantha Schwab and I are already working on new recipes that we can incorporate daily. We are very excited about our new pizza section of the kitchen. We are currently working on our “secret sauce” and coming up with a house pizza that will be served daily. We are also working on rotating our grab and go options. From takeout charcuterie boards and healthy snack boxes, to yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit and our ever popular hummus with grilled pita. Our students will have all of their favorites and then some.