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Master chef lends expertise to Dining Services staff

Master chef Ken Arnone paid a visit to the Dining Services staff recently to help punch up the authenticity of the Asian foods available in the University Center Commons. Arnone is one of only 61 certified master chefs in the world, and a former classmate of Dining Services Director Erin McGinnis '90 from the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

"Ken was doing work in the industry with Asian food, and I thought it would be fun for the staff to get out of the regular routine," McGinnis said.

The recipes will be part of the popular Asian food stations, at which students can pick their own meat, veggies, sauces and rice or pasta to create their own stir fried meals.

For three days Arnone worked with Dining Services staff on perfecting 10 new recipes he developed for PLU. This involved modifying ingredients and techniques to more efficiently feed hundreds of hungry students.

In most restaurants, menu items prepared in a wok are cooked for at least six minutes to infuse the flavors, Arnone explained. But that timeframe is too long for a food station with a line of 15 students, so he adjusted the techniques to speed up the cooking time to 90 seconds while still maintaining the flavors.

Adjustments included cooking some of the ingredients beforehand, particularly the meats, and modifying the sauces to quickly infuse the flavors. When it's time to create the entrée, ingredients are heated back up and mixed with the sauce.

"The challenge is how - in high volume - do you make good food and stick to the techniques?" Arnone said.

Campus Master Plan charts path for the future

Plans for new buildings, recreational facilities and the landscape of the campus were unveiled during Fall Conference, an annual event for faculty and staff held the week before school begins.

The plan was later accepted by the Board of Regents in October, charting a course for PLU over the next 15 to 20-plus years. The plan addresses new buildings, renovations and landscaping. Goals to promote environmental sustainability are highlighted throughout the document.

Developing the plan has been no small task. For the past three years, thirteen members of the Master Plan Steering Committee have worked with various groups on campus to develop a plan that addresses the current and future needs of the university.

To learn more and read the plan, visit

New home for KPLU planned

KPLU-FM announced in early September that it received a $1 million donation toward a new building, which will be named after long-time general manager Martin Neeb.

Neeb's brother and PLU regent, Larry Neeb, contributed the naming donation, bringing the capital campaign for KPLU out of the "quiet" phase and into full-bore fund-raising.

The National Public Radio affiliate and jazz and blues station now boasts over 300,000 listeners per week in the Puget Sound region and online, where its broadcast streams live. The university holds the license to KPLU, but the station is independent in programming and editorial content.

The station's main studio, jazz collection and administrative offices are currently housed in Eastvold

Hall. After 40 years in Eastvold, KPLU's small suite of offices is literally overflowing with records and files.

The studios were designed in an era of radio now relegated to history, and are long overdue for technological upgrades.

The new broadcast center will provide state-of-the-art facilities, environmentally stable storage for classic records and improved workspace for KPLU employees. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2007 and be completed by 2008.

"I'm delighted to provide resources in support of KPLU and the university," Larry Neeb said. "The station is a great asset for the university, placing its name in the public arena 24/7. What a gift it is in building community spirit."

Photo: Dining Services welcomed certified master chef Ken Arnone to help the staff enhance its Asian food offerings. Photo by Roxanne Cooke '07.

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© Scene 2006  •  Pacific Lutheran University  •  Winter 2006

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