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    On Saturday, Aug. 13, Louisville was hit with a powerful storm that left about 150,000 households and businesses without power including the's world headquarters and our intrepid editor, Zach. The outage, which spanned several days in many areas, was mostly a nuisance for homeowners, but for businesses like Sullivan University, the lack of refrigeration threatened to reduce thousands of dollars of food to waste. Fortunately, Gordon Food Service (GFS) quickly stepped in and donated the use of a refrigerated semi trailer in order to conserve the food for the University’s commercial operations and extensive teaching labs. Those included Winston’s restaurant, The Bakery at Sullivan University, The Ala Carte Café and Juleps Catering, plus the University’s 15 commercial teaching labs and two major commissaries at the University’s  National Center for Hospitality Studies, which has over 1100 students enrolled in classes.

    With the 15 large commercial-size kitchens and retail operations featuring a large number of refrigeration and walk in coolers and freezers and all power out in much of the city, quick action was needed. GFS, a major supplier of product to the University, quickly dispensed an empty refrigerated truck which was filled to capacity by volunteer staff and faculty who worked tirelessly to shift the refrigerated product to the trailer and to off-campus freezers.

    The huge wind storm hit at 6 p.m. on a Saturday night, and Sullivan University’s electricity was off for over 24 hours. Because of the assistance of GFS, less than $200 of product was lost and over $50,000 dollars of refrigerated and frozen items were salvaged. The University classes and labs were back in full operation at 7 a.m. Monday morning.

    Scott Stromer, executive director of food and beverage; Kris Lutgring, manager of commissary service; Kimberley Jones, catering chair; and Chef Allen Akmon, culinary chair led the massive effort  for some 16 hours to move all the product to safe areas. Sullivan University is extremely thankful to Patrick Mulkey of GFS who spearheaded the GFS response.

    “Having dependable partners and a prime vendor like Gordon Food Service is a key to our ability to have one of the top culinary schools in the country,” said Sullivan University chancellor Dr. A.R. Sullivan. “They helped save the day for the Sullivan University food service division”.

    Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Studies prepares students for careers in the hospitality field by offering six associate of science degrees, a bachelor of science degree and a master of business administration degree. Students can earn an associate of science degree in culinary arts; baking and pastry arts; beverage management; professional catering; hotel and restaurant management; and event management and tourism; and a bachelor of science or master of business administration degree with a hospitality management option. The University also offers professional baker, personal/private chef and tourism diplomas. All programs of study are taught by highly qualified faculty using the latest contemporary facilities. For more information, visit

    (Photo and release courtesy of Estes Public Relations) 

    Kit Helton's picture

    About Kit Helton

    Average single guy who has been able to lead an above average life. Originally from New Orleans and arrived in Louisville after 10 years via Chicago in 2005. Currently residing near Churchill Downs with my dog, Dixie. Owner of a catering company for over a decade and published cookbook author, I am lucky to return to the Food & Dining as well as Arts beats for

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