Top of the Food Chain

By: Neil Cilley '87

I’m truly grateful and excited to be a part of the Dublin School Dining Services team for the 2015-2016 academic year. This school and this community hold a very special place in my heart.

You see, a long, long time ago this was my home—I am an ’87 alumnus. It’s wonderful to be back home here at Dublin with you all, to be doing one of the things I’m passionate about—cooking, and to be working with such a strong and talented kitchen staff.

It’s amazing how quickly we’ve transitioned into the fall—amazingly, with winter now just around the corner. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many students, faculty, and staff since I began work here last January. There were many new faces who joined us for the 2015-16 school year, and I’m still trying to get caught up meeting and getting to know you all.

This new year is providing me with the wonderful opportunity of working under our new Food Service Director and extremely talented chef, Sven Green. 

Over the years, I have worked in every capacity of the food service industry and have been in charge of some very capable kitchens preparing excellent food, helping me become a pretty decent cook myself. However, I’ve never had the chance to apprentice under such a talented and accomplished chef.

Since Sven’s arrival, I’ve been introduced to some previously unfamiliar ingredients and some new food preparation techniques. These new culinary experiences have been and continue to be very exciting and rewardingThe entire Dining Services team is very much looking forward to providing you with a school year filled with healthy, dynamic, and delicious food. For while Dublin has always served tasty food, we’re now attempting to take the quality of the food to whole new level. We want the food not only to taste delicious, but also to be healthier—having been made with the best fresh ingredients we can obtain and prepared with utmost of care. 

 In a general way, one can think of this fresh approach to food preparation as “Slow Food.” 

 The easiest explanation for the concept of Slow Food is that Slow Food is NOT fast food. Essentially, Slow Food is quality food prepared with care and time utilizing fresh, high quality, local (whenever possible) ingredients. The history of the Slow Food movement is interesting (I encourage you to Google it!). Even though the Slow Food movement was born in Italy in 1986, the concepts and philosophies of slow food cooking date back much, much further.  

Today, somewhere in the hustle and bustle of modern society, most of our western civilization has collectively stumbled and lost our way with respect to cooking and eating properly. As Sven indicated in his previous newsletter article, it’s time for us—as a society—to make the choice to evolve when it comes to preparing and eating quality food.  Because, if we as a collective species do not choose to embrace the philosophies of the Slow Food movement now, then I firmly believe that even harder “choices” will be forced upon us as time marches forward and global resources are stretched.  Currently, we are presented with the opportunity of embracing the Slow Food philosophy here in our community and to eat some amazing, AMAZING food in the process. 

 I look forward to seeing you all in the Dublin food lines. Cheers!