Position: Campus Chef, Lackmann Culinary *
Years of Service: 2
Resides: West Babylon, NY
John Hutchison is the Campus Chef for Stony Brook University. That means his fingerprints (not literally) are all over the 20,000 meals served every breakfast, lunch, and dinner across campus. Every day, you can find John somewhere on campus, assisting the eight production chefs in their respective kitchens.
He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1995, and before coming to Stony Brook University, he was the Campus Chef for Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.
John really enjoys working at Stony Brook, especially the teamwork between staff and student employees. “Being the Campus Chef offers a great opportunity to try new ideas rarely afforded to chefs operating a small-scale restaurant. The student feedback really is what drives the program, whether it’s an idea generated from our weekly Resolutions Meetings, the comment cards, or simply speaking to students in the dining halls.”
This year he is continuing the practice of the “Chef’s Table” at each location. It’s a monthly event where the Chef of that dining hall prepares lunch or dinner for the students. “We try and get the Chefs out of the kitchens and into the serving area where they have a chance to interact with their customers. It’s a great opportunity to exchange ideas and find out what we can do to improve and be able to react to their needs.”
|John at a Student Fire Safety event, demonstrating how to cook safely.|
John ensures that his kitchens run green by using the Trim Trax program, which allows kitchen waste to be composted and in turn used throughout the campus. Campus dining also uses a proprietary recipe database (WEBTRITION) that guarantees that the kitchens follow proven recipes, which in turn provide nutritional accuracy. This process also allows the kitchen to monitor customer counts and production to control waste and limit overproduction. Since Dining Services is a big production on campus, Lackmann is very active in the Stony Brook University Sustainability Program. They are currently implementing biodegradable fiber plates and clam-shells where applicable. They have also installed a Smart Stock Utensil dispenser at dining facilities, which has greatly reduced the plastic usage on campus by limiting the waste of utensils. John has partnered with the Stony Brook Faculty Student Association (FSA) to assist with the recycling of plastic and cardboard, and with the composting programs. Additionally, Lackmann follows the guidelines of the Monterrey Seafood Watch program, which advises consumers and businesses on how to make healthy choices from the oceans and for the oceans.
"Growing up on Long Island of course meant fishing and lots of seafood, which always had a real influence on me from a culinary standpoint. Seafood is something I love to see in our cafes, whether it's whole lobsters with drawn butter at Union Commons or pan-seared salmon at SAC That is something that definitely resonates with the students who line up for lobsters when they are on the menu. We are also looking to partner with local farms in the area and begin a campus vegetable garden, which should be very exciting as well." John looks forward to every day at Stony Brook. "There is a great team in place at SBU Campus Dining and it is constantly expanding and evolving. It's a pleasure to come to work and I look forward to growing with the campus."
*The Faculty Student Association (FSA) at Stony Brook University contracts Lackmann Culinary Services to operate the dining program on campus.
About Lackmann Culinary Services:
Lackmann Culinary Services has been a successful foodservice company since 1964 and prides itself on treating each customer like family. We look to set the standard in the industry by providing customers with the highest level of service and quality, and we are continuously expanding our programs and services to better meet the needs of our customers. We operate with three guiding principles, Freshly Made, Locally Grown and Guest Focused.