Keeping People Fed at Mount Angel Seminary
Brother Peter Tynan, OSB
Have you ever had the responsibility of preparing 400 to 600 meals a day? Dianne Mitchell does because she is the head chef for Mount Angel Seminary. She coordinates a small platoon of 20 food service workers comprised of sous chefs, bakers, pantry workers, kitchen assistants, and dishwashers. She admits that it is not an easy job, but it is a job she loves.
|Mitchell takes great pride in her work.|
When asked about some of her favorite dishes to prepare, Mitchell lists: chicken stew, "it reminds me of Grandma's home cooking," prime rib, "since it tastes yummy," fried chicken with mashed potatoes and pan gravy, "it was my family's Sunday dinner growing up," homemade rolls, and cherry cream cheese almond Danishes.
|For Mitchell, being a chef is more than cooking.|
Another duty Mitchell has as head chef is safety. This involves keeping up on new OSHA regulations for safety and sanitation. She also needs to make sure her employees are using the cleaning solutions safely and effectively. For Mitchell, "Food quality, safe handling, and cleanliness are a must." A visit to the Mount Angel Seminary kitchen will show anyone just how seriously Mitchell takes cleanliness. The kitchen is spotless.
|Mitchell getting the lunchtime soup ready.|
The difficult part of her job, according to Mitchell, is knowing that despite all her efforts not everyone will appreciate her work. For her the task is to take into account what foods are liked and disliked and to always take time to listen to suggestions. What keeps Mitchell going year after year as a chef is constantly striving to do her best, which would be a good practice for anyone.