For most Greeks on campus, the daily routine is simple; you wake up, go to class, do some studying, and hopefully have a social, party or at least some sort of outing at the end of the day.
But there’s often little emphasis on our meals. To many, eating is just a mandatory speed bump in an otherwise busy day, especially in a fraternity or sorority house where there’s often little to remember about the food. College Chefs, a company based out of Champaign, IL, is looking to change that, however, and make fraternity and sorority meals a true highlight of the day.
Kevin Hyotte, a 63-year-old Boston native, has brought the College Chef experience to the University of Florida.“It’s been great,” said Hyotte of his experience working with the company.
Having joined the company’s roster of culinary masters roughly three years ago, Hyotte serves as a “swing chef”, meaning he travels to different Greek houses nationwide providing them with the best food he has to offer whenever they are in need. This semester, he takes pride in bringing his best work to UF’s Sigma Nu.
Hyotte has been in the business all his life, starting out his career in cooking as a help to his parents’ own restaurant. He uses his experience in the industry to bring Sigma Nu food that is a step above the rest of campus’ culinary creations.
“They’ve been getting a taste of restaurant quality food for a while now,” said Hyotte, something you won’t hear from many Greek house chefs.
Just last week he prepared chicken saltimbocca. “That’s a pretty restaurant dish, most of the guys had never had it before,” Hyotte said, “and it went over extremely well.”
So what makes the College Chef chefs different from the run-of-the-mill chefs in other fraternity and sorority houses? “College Chefs takes all the liabilities of a company…they take all the liabilities and insurance and vacations and stuff like that out of it,” explained Hyotte.
Hyotte not only spends anywhere from 9-12 hours working on Sigma Nu’s meal plan, he also works with the brothers to formulate a menu to make sure everyone is satisfied. He even works on separate meals each day for the vegetarians living in the Sigma Nu house.
“I just like making things that please the guys,” he said. With that interactivity between chef and brothers, there’s a special relationship between Sigma Nu and Hyotte. He knows their likes, and their dislikes. And they respect his schedule as some well other rules.
“They know me…and that I get a little upset when they trash the kitchen…they know they might be penalized, they might not get rolls because of that,” he quipped.
Though College Chefs is a relatively young company, they are spreading quickly. Kevin Gadus, CEC and founder/owner of College Chefs, has recently established an employment agency, recruiting highly skilled chefs so as to grow the company, according to Hyotte. Most locations utilizing the talents of College Chefs are focused in the Midwest.
All too often, Greek students settle for subpar food. College Chefs is slowly but surely changing that, and the University of Florida would be lucky to have College Chefs begin redefining the connotations associated with Greek meal plans.
“It’s a great company,” Hyotte said. “The trained chefs that we have at College Chefs would really, really do a good job in the Gainesville area.”