Chefs who make a difference

These 10 chefs are influential not only in their operations but their communities as well.

Eric Cartwright
Executive Chef
Campus Dining Services
University of Missouri, Columbia

Why Eric?
According to Julaine Kiehn, director of Campus Dining:

“Eric has made a tremendous impact on our department, the Mizzou campus, the surrounding community and the industry.

Within Campus Dining Services, Eric implemented culinary training for front-line hourly staff in a variety of ways. At workshops he developed training for knife skills, taste analysis, grilling and other culinary-related topics. He also developed a four-level Culinary Development Program for food preparation staff. With the demonstration of the designated skills, hourly staff members can increase their hourly pay through this program. He teaches staff members how to prepare new items by demonstrating the preparation, having staff members see and taste the product and then allowing the staff members to make the product. Similarly, Eric has worked with our sous chefs to further develop their culinary expertise and build a team that works with the hourly staff members. The outcomes of the program have been increased quality of product and an increased level of pride of our staff, along with an improved image of Campus Dining Services.

On the campus level, Eric has helped improve the image of Campus Dining Services. We are more respected for our culinary expertise, our dining program and the quality of our food. This reputation has helped us recruit and retain students, as well as increased customer satisfaction.

Eric is also involved in the surrounding community. He assists with education activities at the high school’s career center, with the city and county agencies and in the local community. Eric worked with local farmers and organizations to purchase local products, which has improved our town/gown relationships and our image in the community.

Within the industry, Eric has networked with the professionals at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone and Hyde Park. Eric coordinated campus activities with the California Raisin and Almond boards. Eric was fortunate to be in the first class of the Culinary Enrichment and Innovations Program (sponsored by Hormel at the CIA) and has provided input to industry publications and company representatives. He networks regularly with other chefs across the country and is active in the local ACF chapter.”

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
smoothie

Nurses often mention that at 2 p.m. they are dragging and just trying to get through their 12-hour shift. This winter I will be implementing a 2 p.m. pick-me-up, which will include a smoothie station where they can create their own smoothie to help get them through their shift. It will be filled with energy-boosting ingredients to personalize their own drink, such as bananas, almonds, spinach and even dark chocolate.

Ideas and Innovation
chili

Winter is when our guests frequently crave something comforting and hearty, and chili is great for that. Our plan is to boost guest engagement this winter by inviting them to design a unique chili experience. The guest chooses the type of chili first, then the vessel: bowl, bread or potato. Next, they customize their dish even further by choosing the toppings, which will be categorized as traditional, creamy, crunch or heat. The wild card, crunch and heat categories, are where my team and I will flex our creativity and highlight different flavors, ingredients or techniques.

Ideas and Innovation
new year party

In search of inspiration for this letter, I turned to the one I wrote for January 2017, in which I griped about some trends I wanted to toss in the new year. Twelve months later, the Sriracha trend has calmed down, food trucks seem slightly less pervasive and, while the definition of “clean” eating continues to evolve, it’s not so laser-focused on GMOs. So it seems my predictions were correct, including the one about where I’d be eating on New Year’s Day (though I had no clue my now-fiance would propose to me that night over duck noodle soup).

However, since this year has been...

Industry News & Opinion

Dining hall workers at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., have been asked to remove stickers worn in protest of working conditions at the school’s dining halls, The Stanford Daily reports.

School officials say that the stickers with the statement “Respect and a Fair Workload” go against a union-university agreement that states union members may not wear “insignia [with] any message that is vulgar, profane, or disparaging of Stanford, or that results in conflict or disruption in the workplace.”

In a conversation with The Daily, Seth Leibson, senior organizer for SEIU...

FSD Resources