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Food Service

Kitchen Orientation: Things You Need To Know (download)

Please feel free to ask a staff member for assistance of any kind.  Kitchen staff are easy to identify by their aprons.  Make sure you let us know ASAP if you have any allergies or special food-related needs. There is a signup sheet for vegetarians and vegans just outside the kitchen door on the ice machine at the end of the hot line. You can also make comments on the reservation page when you make your booking and this is very helpful for us to prepare for your arrival in advance.  Please specify whether or not you can eat fish/seafood or have any special needs and/or allergies, plus how long you will be in camp.  If you are leaving for a few days and then returning, it would be most appreciated if you could let us know ahead of time.  If you have dietary restrictions of any kind and you know you are going to be out in the field most days for lunch, it would be helpful for the kitchen staff to know as well so please sign out under your own name and not your group. The sign out board is at the entrance to the dining hall in the arctic entryway. It is very important to sign out every day that you will be gone for a meal whether it is for lunch or dinner. You need to write the date and time of your return and be sure to erase it once you get back to camp. This also lets the health and safety personnel know where you are in case of an emergency. We try to prepare the majority of our food from scratch so the most accurate count of mouths to feed for any meal is beneficial for all of us and helps prevent unnecessary waste.

All users with dietary restrictions need to speak with a cook so that we can determine the extent of your needs and to put a face to your name when we need to communicate.

Here are a few tips to help you find your way around and get what you need:

There are plastic silverware utensils under the counter below the cereal to take into the field or to your lab.  Please do not take the real silverware away from the dining hall for any reason.

The real plates and bowls are out for your use all the time unless we have a water or power problem.  We keep them covered during off times to keep the dust invasion to a minimum.  If we don’t want them in service, we will either take them away or put a great big sign on them.  Please feel free to use the paper plates and bowls at any time…especially if it is not during regular service hours.  These are located under the 7-11 counter or in the drawers under the cereal.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE-Read the instructions on top of the coffee machine on how to make coffee before brewing. If you are too tired or scared, ask a staff member to help really isn’t very hard but there is a large capacity for error if you are not paying attention.  There are backup coffee, filters, etc. in the cupboards and drawers below that counter.  Please don’t brew large batches of coffee in the afternoon or evening. You can make single or small batches by using the Melita strainers and filters in the drawer below the counter next to the drinks chiller.

If you desire decaf coffee, there is a small coffee maker on the 7-11 counter to use for small batches.  The unleaded coffee is in the small freezer beside the leftover chiller. The directions are hanging on the wall behind it.

There is hot water spigot (red) for tea or cocoa on the coffee machine and also a sink and faucet next to it with the ultra filtered drinking water.

Sodas, milks and canned juices are kept in the cooler next to the coffee machine.  There are also Gatorade powders next to the sink below the teas so you can make your own to take into the field.

The salad and deli bar are open 24/7 unless the population is very low.  Please be considerate and use the meat only utensils for said items and keep the cheese and veggie ones separate.  Be aware that people with food allergies in particular will be affected by the careless handling of utensils…especially around the peanut butter.

Summer Meal times are as follows:

Breakfast: 7:30 – 8:30
Lunch:  12-1
Dinner:  6-7

A continental breakfast is provided on Sunday morning and leftovers are available in the chiller until the regular hot dinner is served.

There are slight variations to serving times in the shoulder and winter seasons or when we are exceptionally busy.  These will be announced well in advance of any changes.

There is a Panini grill on the counter next to the toasters.  Please read the instructions before using and be patient enough to let it heat up first (8 minutes) and toast your sandwich properly.  We have rigged this appliance so it is impossible to turn up the temperature-you will just have to wait for it to heat and cook correctly.  Please remember to turn it off when you have finished and scrap off any excess ooze.

There is a wash-up sink as you enter the building for you to clean your mugs and dirty paws.  If you use a paper cup, please rinse and reuse if possible as well as your paper lunch bags.  Please reuse your plastic Ziploc bags whenever possible.  There are grid racks to hold your mugs for easy identification and location hanging in both dining rooms.

Take a few minutes to look around and see where all the goodies are kept as well as the necessary items like paper and Ziploc bags.  The chips are stored under the 7-11 counter in the large plastic lexan.  We have a large variety of treats to choose from but not enough storage space for every single variety every single day so they sometimes get rotated due to their popularity.  Just ask someone if you can’t find what you are looking for and chances are good we may have it in the back.  Don’t forget to check out the freezer as well for more snack options and lots of ice cream treats.  Make sure you place the used ice cream scoops in the dish pit when you have finished scooping.

Please use the aluminum foil sheets provided when using the toaster oven and always cover your microwaved food with plastic wrap, a paper towel or those handy plastic covers sitting on top of the microwave.

Official and Unofficial white notice boards hanging in the food court area will keep you up to date on both fun and important activities.  There is also a large cork notice board in the area where you dispose of your dirty dishes that explains some of the aspects of our camp such as recycling and why and how we do it.  Feel free to peruse this information-it is there for your benefit.

Only staff members are allowed back in the kitchen or storage areas.  This is strictly enforced at all times.

Lastly, if you make a mess of any kind…please have the courtesy to wipe it up or ask a staff member to assist you.

Toolik Field Station © 2012-2019
Institute of Arctic Biology
P.O. Box 757005, 1038 Toklat Way
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7005
tel: 907.474.5159, fax: 907.474.5513,
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