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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Circus chef on a high wire
BY SUSAN ARDIS
from: The State (Columbia, S.C.
April 14, 2014 
Matt Loory ran away and joined the circus.

Actually, Loory, a Class of 2012 graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando, Fla., heard about a job opening at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and applied for the position. Now Chef Loory oversees the Pie Car on the circus train with a staff of five and tries to keep a crew of over 300 happy and well fed on a daily basis as well as operating a 40-foot-long mobile cooking unit that is set up inside performance arenas while the circus is in residence.

We were able to chat on the phone for a few minutes and Loory gave me some insight about his job and life in the circus.

Q: So, why is it called the Pie Car?

A: There are three stories or explanations for this.

One is train-related: that the dining car in almost every train could be counted on to always offer coffee and pie.

Two relate to the circus: First, in the days of daily multiple-scheduled shows, the "Chow House" served up fast and easy-to-eat hand-held meat pies for the crew. Over the years the name was changed to Pie Car. Second, and (the one Loory likes) PIE stands for Privileged Individuals and Employees and the Pie Car is where they gather for meals and relaxing.

Traditionally, the Pie Car is at the center of the Circus Train, making it easy to get to and offering a central location for socializing. (Loory's pie car can accommodate about 32 people in eight booths and acts as a common area. It even has DirecTV.)

Q: With an international cast and crew, how do you keep everyone happy and well fed?

A: That is the interesting culinary challenge that faces the kitchen on a daily basis. With 17 nations represented and over 20 languages spoken, keeping everyone happy can be daunting. It helps if you know how to substitute ingredients and work with what you have to try and achieve the flavor you want.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/04/14/3783940/circus-chef-on-a-high-wire.html#storylink=cpy

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