Top 10 Fun Facts About the Research Kitchen and Commissary

Published On: August 5, 2019

1. Resides in McDonel Hall
The MSU Culinary Services (CS) Corporate Kitchen and Commissary resides in McDonel Hall. Not familiar with a food commissary? They provide everything from storage space for food and supplies to cooking facilities that aid in food prep for sale and consumption.

2. Prepares and Delivers Products to 22 Dining Locations Across Campus
The team currently prepares and delivers products to 22 dining locations across campus, including QUE at Crossroads Food Court in the International Center, all Sparty’s stores and Sparty’s Market at 1855 Place. In addition to supporting retail areas, the Eat at State ON-THE-GO Food Truck operates out of McDonel Hall, serving lunch and late night during fall and spring semesters and lunch during the summer, as weather permits.

3. Entrées, Wraps, Salads and Parfaits
During the 2017-18 academic year, 19,333 entrées, 211 wraps, 20,401 salads and 9,108 parfaits were produced in the kitchen for Spartans across campus to enjoy!

4. Combo-X-Change Grab-and-Go
Many of the Combo-X-Change grab-and-go items in the deli area and food served from the grill at Sparty’s Market come from the CS Corporate Kitchen. Next time you snag your favorite salad or stop in for a yogurt parfait, you’ll know exactly where it came from — right on campus.

5. Fall Welcome Picnic Specialty Entrée
Each year, when the Fall Welcome Picnic held in conjunction with Sparticipation comes around, the team at McDonel assists by preparing the specialty dietary entrée. In fall 2018, 2,400 quinoa salads were made for the welcome picnic.

6. Corporate Kitchen and Commissary Employment Opportunities
The Corporate Kitchen and Commissary provides employment opportunities for about 40 students on campus. This includes those interested in related fields like hospitality business or food science and nutrition.

7. Dining Space Usage
The kitchen and dining room space is used for a wide variety of events. For example, when recipes were in development for Sparty’s Market and QUE at Crossroads Food Court, tastings were held in the hall to gather feedback. More recently, they hosted several tastings to prepare for the opening of Thrive at Riverwalk Market at Owen Hall.

8. ACF-sanctioned Site
Speaking of hosting events, the CS team is working toward having the space certified by the American Culinary Federation (ACF). As an ACF-sanctioned site, the location would serve as a place for people to take practical exams for a variety of certifications. CS already hosts the internal competition for the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Culinary Challenge at McDonel, allowing chefs across campus to gain experience with a timed cooking challenge. Each year, the winner has the opportunity to represent MSU at the NACUFS Midwest Regional Conference.

9. Menu Development Process
As part of the menu development process for dining locations on campus, recipes are tested in the McDonel kitchen. Since December 2018, nearly 120 recipes have been assessed and about 250 have been entered in the FoodService Suite software system.

10. Partners Across Campus
The Corporate Kitchen and Commissary team delivers outstanding Spartan experiences to partners across campus. From supporting special events at Hubbard, like the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Endowed Scholarship Community Dinner, to collaborating with the University Activities Board on Get Globed, the crew at McDonel serves as a central, well-oiled machine, helping the campus community bring their special occasions to life.