Which food station do you manage?
Stir fry. Mainly I’m cooking, flipping ingredients in the pan and enjoying conversation with students while trying to whip it all through as fast as possible. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to make some eggs.
How long does it take to make a stir-fry order?
If nobody else is waiting in line, one order takes four minutes from putting it on the burner to cooking and sending it off.
What’s the most popular stir-fry option?
I always suggest “Steve’s Special”—chicken with smoky sweet spice, teriyaki and orange sauce. Word gets around and then everyone’s ordering it. Half the kids don’t even know what’s in it. People put eggs on it too, which has blown up now. It’s a game changer.
What’s the strangest order you’ve gotten?
One kid would get triple chicken with a half bottle of Thai peanut sauce, no vegetables, double rice, and then he’d throw six eggs sunny-side-up on top. He wasn’t huge, but you could tell he worked out.
What do you enjoy most about working in Collis?
For sure, it’s the kids. I’ve cooked a lot of food in my life, and what’s cool about Collis is you’re cooking, grinding, heating, doing all you need to do, plus interacting with all the students.
How long have you worked at Collis?
About six years. At first, I was nervous here because you have hundreds of kids at a time coming in and expecting food on the spot, but I got used to it pretty fast. I worked at a Five Guys down south before, and that place was a madhouse. It was good training.
What do you like to cook for yourself at home?
I just got a fryer for Christmas, so I’ve been making an absurd amount of unhealthy food with my roommates. Fried chicken and waffles, chicken pesto. I have a crock pot, too, so I like to make a beef stew or chili, something you can just whip up and let sit while its aroma takes over the house.
Photo by John Sherman