The Leader Magazine

SEP 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 36 of 67

This soon grew into our "Ingredient Revolution," which further opened doors to the transparency of the food we serve: where it comes from, how the farm and farmers are taken care of, how the land is taken care of, and how food sourcing reflects sustainable practices, and so on. Microsoft now has partnerships with more than 100 local farms to secure the freshest, most healthful food. These include organic farms for produce, as well as sustainability-minded fish farmers and ranchers for meats. Our 75+ on-campus chefs regularly visit these farms, fostering connections at a grassroots level to improve menus and support local markets. Collaboration between our chefs and farmers, for example, in- spired our "Misfit Produce Rescue" program. Rather than have farm- ers throw out fresh and flavorful but imperfect produce, our chefs chop it up for salad bars, sauces, soups, and stir-fry. Our diners get quality, locally sourced food, and local farmers save up to 40 percent of their crops from going to waste. In another form of organic farm-to-table food supply, we maintain more than 70 onsite "urban farms" – hydroponic towers, pyramids, and tray cultivators that grow fresh greens and microgreens year round, without soil, for use in salad bars, sandwiches, and recipes. All of these point-of-use farms are installed right inside the cafés, with some visibly integrated into the dining venues to give employees and guests a first-hand view into where their food comes from. Employees regularly tell us they appreciate the regional connec- tion to their food and the effort we take to show where their food comes from, how it's made, and what it's made of. And frankly, the food just looks and tastes better. Neighborhood restaurants come to campus Another rethink of corporate dining has been to partner with restaurants and chefs to bring new and varied menus, brands, and cuisines to our 500-acre campus. For example, there's Boardwalk, a gastropub created in partner- ship with Chef Maria Hines, a Seattle restaurateur and winner of the James Beard Award. Hines offers up coastal, boardwalk-inspired foods like hand-tossed piz- zas, house-made gourmet hot dogs, and other items. Another restaurant called "in.gredients," developed in partnership with Puget Sound chef and steakhouse restauranteur John Howie, serves employees delectable three- course meals for a fixed price. Keeping menus fresh is the goal of another location called Urban Kitchen, where we rotate guest chefs throughout the year. We also have on-campus loca- tions for some popular restau- rants employees find in their own neighborhoods, such as Puget- Sound born Lunchbox Labora- tory for burgers, and MOD (Made on Demand) Pizza, a national and international franchise that creates personal, artisan-style pizzas and salads according to each diner's tastes. Microsoft works closely with these and other onsite venues to ensure employees have access to locally sourced foods. In our award-winning Café 83 at Northwest Dock, for instance, they can enjoy fresh and local seasonal seafood; The Coop restaurant offers organic, free-range chicken from Draper Valley Farms, a sustainable Pacific Northwest farm within 50 miles of Microsoft; and Above the Bread serves open-faced artisan sandwiches with local cheeses and house-roasted meats. It's this amazing variety of eating venues, diverse food selections (including Indian, Mexican, Pan-Asian, European, and American dishes, etc.), and partnerships with local and celebrity chefs that continually satisfy thousands of employees every day. "Our dining program has transformed from an average source of corporate food into a core function of workplace satisfaction." T h E l E ad ER SEPTEMBER 2017 37 Hydroponic towers, pyramids, and tray cultivators provide diners year-round with fresh greens they can simply pick onsite in Microsoft's dining venues. Local to Puget Sound, Chef Matthew Noesen takes his turn as guest chef at Microsoft's Urban Kitchen bistro.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Leader Magazine - SEP 2017