GAMBIER — A burst of activity this week at Kenyon College signaled the impending arrival of over 2,000 Pelotonia bike riders and their guests. Pelotonia personnel arranged everything from planning the routes and arranging medical and safety support to coordinating volunteers and entertainment. At the college, grounds preparation, overnight accommodations, and food service details were addressed.
Thursday morning Pelotonia personnel supervised the raising of an immense tent across from Peirce Hall, the campus food service building. The tent will provide shelter for participants where they can eat, enjoy entertainment and relax after riders complete trips from either Columbus or Pickerington.
Across the lawn, food preparation went on all week at Kenyon’s Peirce Hall. AVI Foodsystems director Damon Remillard explained that with the combined number of riders and their guests, as well as personnel and volunteers, his staff was preparing to feed over 4,000 people on Saturday.
Remillard said that typically at this point in the summer he is preparing for the arrival of freshmen. This year’s freshmen are due to arrive in two weeks, but this week the food staff is busy preparing a buffet for Pelotonia.
“My executive chef Meagan Worth-Cappell is going on her fourth year here. She’s very talented and came up with a cool menu,” stated Remillard.
The buffet will include grilled chicken sausage, beef or homemade black bean burgers, a variety of salads and deserts including in-house made energy bars, cookies and fruit.
To prepare a buffet of this magnitude demanded an enormous grocery list and a lot of cold storage space. The Kenyon AVI staff prepared 4,200 sausages, 6,300 pieces of chicken, thousands of burgers, more than 1,300 pounds each of potato salad and pasta salad, and much more for the event.
Remilliard said they also brought in 25 chefs from around Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York in addition to Kenyon’s 65 full-time Foodsystem’s staff.
Remillard was pleased to note that the meats, the black beans and much of the produce is all locally produced. “We like to think of ourselves as the leader in sustainable foods in the area,” he said.
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