Levy Restaurants makes Homecoming a culinary experience

Director of Operations Jerry Hiller explains the focus behind football food.

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Hundreds of Missouri Tigers clad in black and gold enter Memorial Stadium. The line floods the area around the concession stand, and the smell of gourmet hot dogs envelops the air, especially the scent of the fan favorite: the Faurotious Field Dawg, topped with Levy Restaurants’ signature buffalo sauce and blue cheese slaw.

In 2010, Levy Restaurants and Mizzou Athletics partnered to step up the food game during football games at Faurot Field. During the regular football season, people working in Levy concessions are busy keeping up with the hungry spectators.

But as Homecoming approaches, these workers have much more to prepare. Jerry Hiller, the director of operations at Levy Restaurants, has been working with Mizzou since July 2014.

“The Levy Restaurants and Mizzou relationship is more than just a partnership, we are one Mizzou,” Hiller said in an email. “My typical day consists of meetings and planning. During the [Homecoming] season, meetings pick up to make sure everything is covered and all preparation is moving along as scheduled, we all spend a lot of time walking the stadium.”

Many concession workers are paid more during Homecoming because of the increased demand. As a former dishwasher at an Italian delicatessen, Hiller has some advice for working students during this season.

“[Students] should be ready to be busy and enjoy the experience,” Hiller said.

Hiller and his team at Levy Restaurants have been preparing for several months. This work has meaning for Hiller, a Kent State graduate, because alumni have the opportunity to revisit their collegiate roots.

“Mizzou [Homecoming] to me is history and the chance for former students to see and experience what has changed and all the great things that are going on today with the university,” Hiller said.

Hiller helped incorporate a new area this year to Faurot Field, called Tiger Town, located at the southeast corner outside of the stadium. This free tailgating area is open to Mizzou fans of all ages. Tiger Town is available for all home football games this year.

“[Tiger Town] is open to the public with no cost for admission, offering food and beverage with a children’s area offering bounce houses and face painters,” Hiller said. “The area is open three hours prior to kick-off, stays open during the game and for one hour post-game. The pre- and post-game radio shows are broadcast from this area, and there is also a huge ‘Go-Vision’ TV screen to view the game.”

And if you get hungry during the Homecoming football game, Hiller has some suggestions.

“I recommend all the food at Faurot and suggest the Tiger Tail brat; these are made fresh for us by the Mizzou Meat Market on campus,” Hiller said.

Edited by Katie Rosso | krosso@themaneater.com

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