The Recipe Issue 2013: Confessions of Bill Laychur

Penn State's Bill Laychur loves meat and can't say no to cheesecake.
Bill Laychur, corporate executive chef for Culinary Support Services at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., loves cheesecake and preparing meat and can’t get enough of Russian/Polish cuisine.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

The heaviest, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth cheesecake.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Ketchup, good mustards and various hot sauces.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

It really depends on my mood—a good hot dog with natural casing that snaps when you bite it, or perhaps a perfectly grilled lamb chop with mint pesto served over warm kale chips and sweet potato hash. That’s maybe today, but who knows about tomorrow!
 

Q. What is your favorite food to prepare?

Meat, meat and more meat.

Q. What is your favorite world cuisine and why?

Russian/Polish. It was the first thing my grandmother and mother taught me.

Q. What is your most memorable restaurant experience?

My wife and I went to Magnolias in Charleston for lunch and stayed and ate dinner also. 

Q. What do you consider to be the most indispensable piece of cooking equipment?

My mind. 

Q. What is the most essential herb or spice in your kitchen (besides salt and pepper)?

Garlic.

Q. What is the best advice a chef/mentor ever gave you?

Cook from your heart but taste with your senses and tongue.

Q. What cooking show do you think is most worth watching?

I grew up watching Graham Kerr and Julia Child, so now I like the PBS show “The Mind of a Chef.”

Q. What is the most valuable cookbook in your library?

As a reference book I like “The Pro Chef 5th Edition.” For fun, I like the “Blue Ginger” cookbook.

Q. If you ever wrote a cookbook, what food or cuisine would you focus on?

The great agriculture and diversity of Pennsylvania—it would feature the flavors of its melting pot with my contemporary style and methods.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is adding an additional $200 in dining dollars to each student's dining plan this fall, The GW Hatchet reports.

The boost comes just a year after the university switched to an open-format dining plan that allows students to spend their entire meal fund off campus; allowed venues include about 90 grocery stores and restaurants.

While students support the new plan, they are concerned about dining affordability. In conjunction with discounted meal deals that were implemented last semester, school officials hope the extra $200...

Ideas and Innovation
iris camera

Biometric payment technologies such as finger and palm scanning are slowly emerging in foodservice operations, including the University of Maryland’s transition last fall. But the future may be leaning toward a more hands-off approach.

George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., was looking to speed up its meal-swiping process alongside a new unlimited dining plan. Iris cameras , which take a photograph of an eye that is converted into data that cannot revert back to a photograph, won out.

Danny Anthes, senior manager of information technology, says two factors stood out in...

Ideas and Innovation
breakfast restaurant food

This March, past FSD of the Month Randy Lait and his team gave the FoodService Director staff a tour of the operations at North Carolina State University. During our visit, Randy shared how data is affecting their menu creation and menu mix. At the university, they’re encouraging chefs to use big data—and not just gut feelings—to inform menu decisions.

Every foodservice operator wants to offer more contemporary items in order to please their customer base and keep chefs challenged and engaged. Many chefs make those decisions based on their own tastes, or what’s exciting them at the...

Ideas and Innovation
french press

While a French press isn’t a tool found in most noncommercial kitchens, operators might want to think twice about multiple uses for this fancy coffee maker. Staff at the Hard Rock Cafe are using the French press to muddle fruit and alcohol for their mixed drinks, while at Chicago bar Moneygun, bartenders use a French press to blend spices and tea for hot toddys.

FSD Resources