HUDS Learns From Experience

But with Winthrop and Lowell, administrators were able to better prepare the staff for the upcoming renovations.

Beginning in January, cooks were able to rotate through the Eliot and Kirkland kitchens in order to familiarize themselves with the new equipment and different styles of cooking.

Under the new design, chefs cook smaller dishes of food more frequently--something which some chefs last year said was too taxing.


"One of the things that is most challenging is sauting," says Rosemary McGahey, associate director of residential dining. "It's surprising how unwieldy it can be. Having a lot of months to practice made [the cooks] very prepared."

Administrators also initiated regular meetings with the staff in order to share prospective floor plans as well as work on teambuilding exercises.

In addition, the staff was brought in over the summer for a series of barbecues to let them see how the renovations were progressing and offer their input.

"A lot of what we see [in the dining halls] comes from what they told us," says Angelo Dalla-Santa, general manager of the Lowell and Winthrop dining halls. "We got [staff] the equipment they wanted, and they're proud to work in their kitchens."

Some workers say the administration is more open to their comments.

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