Roberts Rules

 

Colby has long been known for having some of the finest college food in the country. Now, with the completion of the Roberts dining hall renovation and the bright, spacious Dana and Foss, both renovated in the late 1990s, the College might just have some of the finest dining halls, too.

By R.J.
Photography by Rob Kent '09
 

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Students peruse offerings at the dessert bar in the newly renovated Roberts dining hall, which opened February 6. Food is prepared in open kitchens and eaten in a spacious dining room, complete with fireplace.
Photo by Rob Kievit '09

Roberts, or "Bobs," as most students call it, reopened with the second semester on February 6. The $6.3-million overhaul and expansion, which began in June 2005, eliminated the behind-the-scenes kitchen, leaving the stainless-steel refrigerators, stoves, and ovens in plain sight. Now the chefs prepare almost all the food right behind the counters. "The object is to land it just before the customer picks it up," said Joe Klaus, associate director of dining services.

And what kinds of fare will be served in this state-of-the-art kitchen? Here's a sampling from the menu on its first day of business: spinach salad with hot bacon dressing, polenta with eggplant caponata, and beef machaca tostadas"as well as old standbys like omelets, grilled-cheese sandwiches, and Philly-style cheesesteaks.

To properly enjoy haute cuisine or comfort food, students congregate in a large dining room with sustainably harvested wood paneling and a working gas fireplace.
Behind the scenes lies a catering kitchen for Colby functions and a bakery where an 80-quart mixer spins dough that goes into the "Ferris wheel" oven, pumping out the campus-wide quota of cookies: 125 dozen a day.
 
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