Chef Nate Keller
Making evermore waves in the world of business dining, Google just opened its newest venture—Cafè 150—as part of a plan is to have 14 restaurants on the Mountain View headquarters campus by year's end. Each will be run by a chef who has the same support and independence as Chef Nate Keller, the executive chef at Cafè 150.
As a proponent of local, organic and sustainable food, Keller chose the "150" in the restaurant's name to reflect the fact that the ingredients will come form within a 150-mile radius of the restaurant.
"Since our opening, we've run into a bit of trouble with the weather," says Keller. "But aside from that, things have been really well received."
Besides the social impact of the cafè, Google is a unique model for how corporate cafeterias serve their employees. Although economies of scale would suggest centralizing a cafeteria, the Internet giant's 4,000 and growing employees ( and spread out campus) makes the small cafè model more manageable.
"This will make it much easier for us to serve the population in one sitting," says Keller.
For the opening of Cafè 150, Keller's menu, which changes daily, included more than 30 featured dishes. There was a robust broth teeming with slices of beef skirt steak and handmade yam noodles; clams sautèed with disks of handmade Chinese sausage and wisps of fresh basil; a sandwich bar with nine made from scratch condiments, and grilled romaine lettuce, persimmon and poblano chiles; and composed salads such as wild rice and hazelnut, and crispy tofu slaw.
Both locals farmers and googlers, have responded with accolades of praise.
"They love everything about the freshness of the cafe," he adds.