The newly refurbished St Andrew’s kitchen was officially opened by the Principal and Senior Student, Jack Mackenzie Wood (Fr 2017) with the cutting of a blue ribbon at midday on Monday 8th April 2019. The students of St Andrew’s queued up in anticipation of enjoying the first lunch to be served from the new-look dining facilities and were not disappointed by what they experienced:
“From a student’s perspective, the new kitchen is an amazing upgrade. An increase in the quality and accessibility of food has been greatly received by all residents, giving a much wider range to suit all diets and preferences. As well as this, its looks to bring everyone a bit closer together as we finally can begin to use our dining hall to full effect again, with everyone sitting around chatting over lunch and dinner.” Jack Mackenzie-Wood (Fr 2017), Senior Student
The $3.5 million project, backed by the College Council and managed by the Major Works Committee, was started last November (after a year delay due to scheduling) and is the first upgrade of its scale to the College kitchen since it first opened in its current location 60 years ago. A part of the Harper Master Plan, the refurbishment is a key upgrade to the College’s existing facilities in preparation of the expansion of the student body in 2020 as a result of the addition of 85 new bedrooms in the Thyne Reid Link Development. The Dining Hall is an important space in College, having social interaction, in addition to forming the backdrop to the more formal and special occasions such as University and Schools Dinner, Victory Dinners, Valedictory Dinner and more.
“Our dining hall has always been – and will always be – an integral component of the Andrew’s experience; for 150 years, the best debates in College have been won or lost over a lamb roast or chicken schnitty. The new facilities will ensure that the conversation keeps flowing when we open our doors as a significantly bigger College in 2020 (something the old facilities could not have promised).” Will Cesta (Fr 2013), Dean of Admissions
The College’s Catering Manager, Freeman Lam, brought a creative approach to re-designing the new kitchen and as pictured, the servery is now a brighter, lighter space, with attractive yet functional benches and shelves displaying the wider selection of food available at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The new kitchen sees a change to the design and layout of the serving and preparation areas, an expanded storage area, new cooler rooms and a new service lift to allow for easy delivery access. The re-orientation of the main food bar to enable 360° self-service access will help move student queues through quickly. The meal preparation area has been separated and moved out of sight from the serving area and expanded, allowing staff ample room to pre-prepare meals as required for daily mealtimes or special functions.
In addition to the aesthetic changes, the majority of the catering equipment was also upgraded in order to cater for the increase in students as well as large formal events and conferencing requirements. The College has also hired a new Sous Chef and a number of other casual staff to ensure smooth service. Students have already noted the increase in the quality and type of food being served as a result.
“The new facilities have noticeably improved the quality of the food produced and has also allowed for the extension of meal times – which is a real benefit for students particularly those with busy schedules.” Cameron McMillan (Fr 2017), Honorary Treasurer
“The new kitchen is a great addition to the College. It looks fantastic and we were all very excited for the opening on Monday. It is also great to see the Kitchen staff so excited and proud and we look forward to sharing great conversations, meals and coffee in this new space. Hats off to everyone who made it happen.” Lachlan Barrett (Fr 2017), Honorary Assistant Treasurer