Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited facility, continues to enhance its animal welfare methods and infrastructure with the grand opening of its new commissary. To celebrate the commissary opening, the Zoo will host a Commissary Cook Off on Thursday, May 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eight students from the Trumbull High School Culinary Arts Program, under the direction of instructor Chef Craig Voytek, will compete in the cook off. Their challenge is to turn a selection of animal diet, restaurant-quality products into delicious dishes suitable for humans.
Animal caretakers at the Zoo prepare dozens of nutritionally balanced animal diets each day for the Zoo’s 300 animal residents, utilizing fresh, human-grade foods, ranging from local fish and lamb shanks to grains, fruit, vegetables, and more. The new commissary, funded in part with a grant from the City of Bridgeport, offers enhanced food preparation areas, a larger pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, and a large window so guests can watch food preparation and learn more about animal diets.