The Ohio State University opens state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen

Abbey Lewis, Managing Editor, FoodService Director

chefs summit

At the FSD Chefs’ Summit at The Ohio State University (OSU) in October, chefs were treated to a special dinner at the university’s newest concept: Curl Market Patio. The location, added on to the vibrant convenience and quick-service concept Curl Market, boasts an outdoor kitchen to rival what’s happening inside.

Click through to see how chefs and culinarians on staff were able to customize the open-air concept to suit their specific weather- and traffic-related needs.

Photographs: FSD Staff


chefs summit

The main dining location, Curl Market, offers a variety of items in a quick-service format. Students, staff and visitors can order dishes such as burritos, salads, sushi and sandwiches. At this location, delivery and takeout are offered via Tapingo, and limited grocery items are also available. The new outdoor patio is only open if the weather permits, according to Lesa Holford, corporate executive chef at OSU—though its pizza oven was churning out pizzas on the rainy day the Chefs’ Summit came to visit.


chefs summit

The pizza oven at Curl Market Patio helps crank out approximately 650 pizzas per day. The patio operation is only open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. At this location, students can order and pay via kiosk and Tapingo only. (Zia Ahmed, senior director of dining services at the university, estimates the university completes 8,000 mobile transactions per day across all campus eateries.) At the Chefs’ Summit, Ahmed told attendees the university’s focus on mobile ordering was not only to improve order accuracy, but also allows foodservice employees to focus more on true, sincere customer service.

chefs summit

Zachary King, head chef at Curl Market, explained to visiting chefs taking part in the FSD Chefs’ Summit the sophisticated features of the university’s new outdoor kitchen. In addition to the pizza oven, the kitchen, sheltered beneath an awning on a sprawling outdoor patio, includes grills and other gadgets (including two tandoor ovens) to help chefs prepare delicious and authentic dishes for students.

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