Six months ago, I had no idea that there even existed a Culinary Internship for an MLB team, but this summer I definitely scored working for the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. These past few weeks have flown by learning so much about culinary arts, nutrition, and foodservice management. Miller Park has a few main kitchens, aside from the smaller kitchens you are used to seeing in ballparks. The kitchen I work with cooks higher end meals for club seating and catering, along with cooking team meals for the Brewers.
My internship mostly consists of prepping food for the catering and team meals. I help clean, cut, and cook fruits, vegetables, and meats. Recently, I have been more involved with team meals and making healthier swaps to original recipes that the chefs originally had. For example, instead of using a bunch of butter in a recipe for grits, we helped formulate a different seasoning to get the flavor without nearly as much butter. This helps make the meals for the players more heart healthy and ready for games.
Miller Park holds about 43,000 people, which means a lot of food comes into the stadium. With this large scale setting, there tends to be quite a bit of food waste. The Club Level of the stadium offers a buffet along with other parts of the stadium. Right now, the other intern and I are working on analyzing the buffets to see how we can possibly minimize food waste. For example, we tend to see more meat go to waste these past few games, so for the next homestand we would try to preserve more meat. By looking at the demographics and popularity of the consumers, we will be able to help the stadium minimize the amount of food waste in the stadium.
Being a dietetics student, I guess you could say that I never really appreciated the thought and art of the presentation that goes into food. Every plate that leaves our kitchen, you can definitely tell that creativity was put into it. I have had the honor to learn how to make fruit platters for our buffet and I find creative fulfillment doing them. I never had true appreciation for culinary arts until my internship.
I believe the most difficult and rewarding part of this internship is learning how to work on such an involved team. Chefs tend to have very creative mindsets, all with possible different ideas and flavor palette. It can be hard to incorporate everyone’s ideas, especially when it comes to cooking meals for professional athletes when you have to specifically have nutrition in mind as well. I have learned that communication is essential in a kitchen to ensure that the food creates the best possible outcome for a consumer.
I am already halfway through this internship and I have met so many talented, amazing people that have taught me more than I could have ever imagined in such little time. Helping ensure that Brewers fans and players are satisfied with their meals has honestly been one of the most rewarding experiences thus far. The amount of cooking techniques, patience, and management tools I have learned how to use is remarkable. I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity as it scared me at first jumping into such a large job so inexperienced. The fact that it scared me so much helped me know that this would be one of the best learning experiences, and it has been so far. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the summer brings me!