Behind the Scenes
The Culinary Support Center, located at 426 Wells Mill Drive, is an essential part of Student Dining Services. This facility and its staff support all dining locations on campus including the Shriver Center and Marcum Conference Center. The building operates 6 days a week/18 hours a day. Food purchasing, related culinary functions/planning, central production, food warehousing, and food transportation all occur in this facility.
Ever wonder why we serve Kraft cheese instead of Sargento cheese? Kikkoman Soy Sauce instead of La Choy Soy Sauce? Each product purchased for service goes through a blind tasting process to be selected for service in our dining locations. If you are interested in participating in product tasting sessions, please contact us at 9-3040 for a list of scheduled testing dates. Customer opinions are always welcome during these testing/tasting sessions.
The Department of Housing, Dining, & Guest Services has certified chefs, sous chefs, and a pastry chef working throughout campus. Located at Marcum Conference Center, The Shriver Center, The Demske Culinary Support Center, and within our dining centers these chefs are constantly designing new recipes and foods to be offered. Our chefs help keep Miami University ahead of food service trends on university campus's across the country and world.
Our departmental reputation of providing quality, wholesome food is built very solidly on our Purchasing Office. All fresh, frozen, and dry foods along with food related items, are centrally purchased from reputable, FDA-approved manufacturers and distributors. In fact, Miami routinely inspects the production plants and warehouses from where we purchase our foods. The purchase of over eight million dollars of food, equipment and chemicals annually requires careful billing procedures and inventory controls. The inventory Control Specialist ensures that accurate records are being kept for the $500,000 to one million dollars worth of inventory the Culinary Support Center houses at any given time. Buying food in truckload quantities and having it delivered to one central location helps to keep meal plan costs to a minimum.
Student Dining Services survey our student customers relentlessly. Once a month students may complete a survey online (www.muohio.edu/myaccount) asking pointed questions on how we can improve dining on campus. Every November a large survey is given to every student living on campus. This comprehensive survey covers every aspect of student life from dining, to residence, to the campus bookstore, to hall programming.
The Miami Bakery
Production and Distribution
Each night, at 12:00 a.m., the bakers return to begin production of fresh baked goods to be offered on campus that day. Some of our highlighted products include: donuts, pizza dough, pies, cookies, cakes, tortes, scones, muffins, rolls, breadsticks, bread bowls, artisan breads, and more. All of our products are prepared from the finest ingredients and are shipped that day for service.
The processing room at the CSC, allows Miami to buy fresh produce every day straight from the markets of Cincinnati. The produce is then cleaned and prepared for shipping to dining locations for service the very next day.
Our hot production room utilizes industrial cook/chill equipment to create over 30 types of soups and sauces in the safest manner possible. Nine types of pastas, utilized campus-wide at our Pastato concept, are cooked to a perfect al dente state, ensuring a high quality product for our guests. Also located here is our test kitchen, the site for learning and development of our cooking team. New cook trainees gain experience on industrial pieces of equipment while practicing recipe preparation under the guidance of our campus chefs. The kitchen is also used to develop and test new recipes for rotation with our menu concepts.
Several items are produced for campus in the chilled Garde Manger room at the Culinary Support Center. Our staff works daily to create deli sandwiches, calzones, gourmet salads, fruit cups and sushi.
Beginning at 5:00 a.m., semi-trailers arrive at the CSC dock to replenish the stock levels in our giant freezer and other storage locations. Buying centrally and in bulk helps keep student meal plan costs to a minimum. As the dock receives requisitions from various locations across campus, the staff begins the task of filling the orders and loading them into large refrigerated trucks. These familiar red & white trucks can be seen making deliveries all over campus each morning.