‘Kitchens’ fire up new venues

Beginning in November the Student Center is going to be home to nearly all of the dining venues on the Sonoma State campus. The Kitchens, which is opening on Nov. 13, will replace the Zinfandel Dining Hall. It is intended to not only serve freshmen within the residential communities, but the entire campus. 

The Kitchens will represent a new type of dining experience on campus that will cater to all students rather than simply first-time freshmen. This new venue will comprise of seven different platforms, all of which will offer variety and their own style.

As students enter the Kitchens, the first platform they will come to will be Slice. This platform will offer a wide range and variety of Italian dishes, including pizza, pasta and salads, and will be open from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

“This platform will have pizza by the slice, vegetarian and meat pizzas, Caesar salad and a different salad of the day. Eventually we’ll have calzones and pastas as well,” said Executive Chef Eric Lee, who manages all dining venues on the Sonoma State campus as well as in the Student Center. 

The next platform within the Kitchens is Chefs. This area will represent a variety of different food dishes from all across the culinary spectrum. Each day there will be a different professional chef whose creations will be featured, with live demonstrations by Sonoma State chefs that students can watch from the dining room. 

The primary mission of the Kitchens is to offer a fresh and unique dining experience to Sonoma State students. One way the Kitchens is achieving this goal of diversity is through another platform called Passport. Every day, dishes from all over the globe will be served. Passport will feature foods from over 50 countries on a rotating basis, with multiple vegetarian options as well. The goal is to widen the variety of foods students are exposed to while dining on campus. 

“The Kitchens will have 10 times more variety in food dishes [than Zinfandel Dining Hall] and will let people try fresher and lighter things,” said Lee. 

Flame, another section of the Kitchens, is a platform that will serve everything from cheeseburgers to sandwiches. Utilizing new recipes and fresh creations, Flame will offer hot-off-the-grill dishes that will meet students’ cravings for an all-American cheeseburger and fries.

Directly next to Flame is Sizzle, which will be a made-to-order Mongolian barbeque platform. This will be where students can pick out a variety of meats and vegetables and have them grilled on the spot and made to order exactly how they want. Sizzle will represent a new form of dining on campus; one where students can decide exactly what they want to eat and how they want it prepared. 

“We want to be able to satisfy a lot of different people with the variety. We’re going to have gluten free noodles on the vegetarian side. Now students can have their favorite dish every other day with the multitude of choices. Students will get tired of the food so much less quickly [at the Kitchens]. People can branch out a lot more,” said Lee. 

With this brand new venue opening on campus, some may wonder how the vegetarian dining options will change on campus. That is something that is considered a high priority within the Kitchens. 

All platforms in the Kitchens will offer a wide variety of vegetarian dishes. The primary vegetarian platform will be the Gardens, which will offer many different vegetarian options. 

The final platform within the Kitchens is Etcetera, which, as implied by its name, will offer everything that students cannot get out of the other platforms. 

Etcetera will primarily be a coffee and dessert shop that will feature hand-made candy, cake and espresso.  

“Overall [with the opening of the Student Center], students will graduate not only in academics but in culinary taste and culture as well,” said Ryan Ernst, director of marketing and entrepreneurial activities.  

The Kitchens will be open from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. with different hours in each of the platforms. Freshmen will have unlimited access with their meal plan as well. 

Many new meal plans will be offered with the building’s opening as well. These meal plans will be catered towards upperclassmen and commuter students in addition to the freshmen meal plan. 

Besides utilizing meal plan options, students and faculty will also be able to dine at the Kitchens using Wolfbucks, cash and debit/credit cards as well.