Thursday, November 18, 2010

How to Build a Salad Bar

Laying a sheet of ice

By Ed Bruske

aka The Slow Cook

The Boulder school district owns two kinds of salad bars: a stainless model with plug-in refrigeration costs upwards of $6,000. A simpler, polyethylene model costs around $2,500. At Columbine Elementary School, I watched kitchen assistant Tammy Steele assemble a salad bar for lunch service. The first thing she did was lay a plastic quilt of ice at the bottom of the bar's well to keep the foods chilled.

Installing plastic cross-members

Plastic cross-members form the structure in which the food trays will rest.

Inserting food trays

Steele places food trays filled with an assortment of vegetables prepared by a production kitchen, as well as items like hard-boiled egg, pickled jalapeno, diced chicken and tuna salad.

Placing serving utensils

Each item gets a separate serving piece, such as tongs or plastic spoon.

Finished salad bar with dressings

Finally, Steel loads the dressings, typically Itlaian, ranch and balsamic.

Kids Serve Themselves

Kids seem perfectly capable of serving themselves without much adult supervision.

Finished tray, with pizza and water

Salad bars give kids the ability to choose their own foods. You never know what they'll do with it.

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