“I need to get a ton of food today. Literally.” That’s the massive task Stacey Kyles starts every morning with. Kyles calls herself the “zoo chef” and she is in charge of making about 1000 meals for animals every day at the Oakland Zoo. Although meals may not be exactly the right word. Kyles refers to them as “diets” and, because these are animals who likely have not developed a taste for items prepared sous vide, there isn’t much actual cooking involved. The zoo also doesn’t seem to be much for presentation—in the video above you can see one of Kyles’ assistants throwing food on the ground. But the job of zoo chef does require a lot of precision. Kyles measures each ingredient down to the gram and, of course, has to work in a lot of different styles. The side of beef she feeds to the lions won’t go over so well with the woodcutter ants who also fall under her care.
Check out the full breakdown of what it takes to make food for picky monkeys, cloud bears and elephants in the video up top from Great Big Story.