Chefs who make a difference

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

Tom Sewell
Executive Chef, Sodexo
Florida Blue, Jacksonville

Why Chef Tom?
According to Damian Monticello, corporate hospitality services manager for Florida Blue:

“Chef Tom uses his culinary expertise to continually give back to his community through service and education. His tireless work ethic is contagious, and many of those who work alongside him have been inspired to give of themselves as well. He truly does not understand the word ‘no’ and gives freely of his time and passion any chance he can. 

For example, each year Chef Tom volunteers his time in conjunction with the Legal Affairs Department of Florida Blue for a day of service at Pine Castle (an agency that serves adults with developmental disabilities through a continuum of services tailored to address needs and lead to greater self-sufficiency, as well as increased quality of life and meaningful inclusion in the community). Chef Tom singlehandedly prepares a full barbecue lunch for over 350 people on that day. He spends the morning on the grill at Pine Castle cooking up hamburgers and hot dogs as well as interacting with all of the residents. 

In conjunction with Florida Blue, Chef Tom participated in a Fathers that Cook fundraiser aimed at encouraging and celebrating fathers that were active participants in their family’s lives. 

Chef Tom works with all of the Employee Resource Groups at Florida Blue to put together a Chef Demo series in conjunction with the various Heritage Month celebrations. The Chef Demos are an opportunity for Chef Tom to take a menu staple of a particular culture and teach people simple ways to make adjustments and prepare it in a more nutrient dense and healthy way. These Chef Demos are a huge hit and allow our customers a chance to interact with Chef Tom in a classroom-type setting and pick his brain on all things culinary.”

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion
autumn leaves

Because I’m writing this letter in the middle of August, it’s a bit tough to imagine the fall season—crunchy leaves, cooler air and the impending sense of dread over whether this will finally be the winter when I freeze to the sidewalk.

But autumn also brings some of my favorite foods: stews, soups, squashes and apples fresh from the tree. Meanwhile, at Greenville County Schools in South Carolina, K-12 diners are getting amped up about a plethora of DIY options, including a build-your-own chicken and waffles bar, says Director of Food and Nutrition Services Joe Urban. (Where was...

Managing Your Business
teamwork pack

As summer begins to fade and vacation season comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about revitalizing staffers’ connections to one another . It’s certainly no secret in the Winsight offices that I’m a bit of a social butterfly, which, in turn, means I’m a rockstar at team building. Can you spot the inter-office activity I haven’t organized from the list below?

• Breakfast Sandwich Fridays: Co-workers rotate responsibility of providing ingredients for customizable sandwiches. Mimosas may have been involved. • “Sound of Music” Soundtrack Singalong Thursdays. The majority of...

Industry News & Opinion
k-12

The School Nutrition Foundation —the School Nutrition Association’s philanthropic sibling—and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign have partnered to launch an initiative called Schools as Nutrition Hubs.

“No Kid Hungry really sees schools as a critical place in the fight against childhood hunger,” says Laura Hatch, director of national partnerships for No Kid Hungry. “Schools are really a no-brainer because they have the infrastructure, they have the experience, it’s a trusted place for families. And being able to maximize their programs and maximize the federal...

Ideas and Innovation
walk-in cooler

The walk-in cooler can serve as a gathering place for more than just produce. When temperatures rise, staff at Empire State South restaurant in Atlanta host meetings in the walk-in and make occasional trips to hang out throughout the day to beat the back-of-house heat.

FSD Resources