Pining for Dining

Emily Pyne, the Dining Room Lead of Kalamazoo College Dining Services, sat down for an interview with the Index

By Charlotte Steele

Emily Pyne, the Dining Room Lead of Creative Dining at Kalamazoo College. Photo by Charlotte Steele

Index: When did you first know that you love working with food?

EP: I started this job back when I was 17… I’m 29 years old now. I’ve actually been on-and-off with the company. I was here for three years and then I worked a couple of different jobs and would work here part time just for some extra money. When I decided to go back to school I came back to work here full-time because they could work around my hours. Then, when they opened Jazzman’s (now Richardson Room), I got promoted to be the supervisor down there and kind of head-up all that stuff, so that initiated the next step of my career here and kind of taking on more responsibilities, and that kind of just evolved into this roll [of Dining Room Lead].

Index: Were you always interested in food?

EP: It just kind of happened…my best friend in the entire world… Ashley Darling is a Chef, and she went to the Culinary Institute of America to get her degree. She worked here in the kitchen at the College, they needed help, and she referred me here. That’s how I started working in food. I just love the fast pace, and I love working with the students. Every day is different because you serve new food every day. You’re constantly learning new recipes and so it’s very motivating to continue learning different things about the food… that’s why I stuck around.

Index: What are some of your hobbies?

EP: I love Zumba…I got married, had a couple of kids and needed to exercise so I got into the Zumba scene. I would love to get certified and become an instructor and teach it.

Index: Name one thing that you like about Kalamazoo.

EP: I love Kalamazoo because it’s just big enough for me to feel like I’m in a big city. I really love the community and the people, and I really love the young atmosphere because of all the universities around here. I think that Kalamazoo is geared towards that younger crowd and younger scene. And the food; I really love the local aspect of it, all the restaurants, too.

Index: Will you name a few important people and/or pets in your life.

EP:  I love heavy metal music, and I go to a music festival every year called Rock on the Range; this was my fifth year this year. So, influential people… Stone Sour right now is one of my favorite bands. Other people would be my husband and my children and my father. Really, my family is the most important, and music is very, very, very important to me because I have to have it to keep going.


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