The father of Gourdzilla, Damon Remillard, is leaving Kenyon after five years as resident director of AVI Foodsystems in Peirce Hall. Remillard will take over brand management for AVI and oversee a new partnership with the restaurant chain Bob Evans Farms.
What is your favorite holiday for decorating?
Oh, I like Halloween. The whole Gourdzilla (a 1,400-pound pumpkin put on display). I loved that when it arrived and people are, like, tweeting about it.
Describe Kenyon student manners.
Overall , pretty darn good. The weirdest thing is we get a lot of artistic endeavors with the silverware being bent and folded into different things.
What is the most unusual item you’ve seen on the Peirce menu?
We’ve done some organs. We’ve done some tongue and stuff like that. With all the local animals, we get everything, so we’ve had some … students that have asked for it.
What is a little-known fact about your job?
I don’t think people in general understand that there are a lot of levels to what it takes to put food out for 1,600 students. From the time it gets delivered … there are many intricate steps and a lot of pitfalls that can happen.
What’s one of your favorite memories of working at Kenyon?
There’s a lot. The big one was, it was just one night, my wife and I went into town and we were just having a beer and we just loved that we saw the students all dressed up. There was a cover band, and we just liked the camaraderie. It was kind of everyone hanging out. I also remember how grateful people are. It means a lot when we get a thank you.
The biggest challenge?
It’s tough to get 1,600 students fed, get them through there from the servery, and please everybody in a small space. It’s challenging, especially from a chef’s standpoint, to keep it exciting.
Do you like to cook at home?
I’m an avid cook. What relaxes me are my garden and cooking. I’m curing prosciutto in my basement right now.
What will you miss most about working here?
I’ll miss the student body, for sure. The community, the look, the feel, the living in town, the college life. I’ll miss, too, the Kenyon history, the traditions behind Kenyon.
By Madeleine Thompson ’15