Chefs who make a difference

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

Julie Staples
Recipe Development Chef
University Dining
North Carolina State University

Why Julie?
According to Lisa Eberhart, R.D., dietitian for University Dining:

“Julie, 28, is a graduate of NC State with a degree in polymer and color chemistry. She leads the dining and catering operations in initiating concepts, creating recipes, enhancing current recipes, and providing input to taste, texture and packaging of food products. She also trains and develops the kitchen staff on new recipes and techniques by instructing cooks and other workers in preparation, cooking and garnishing. She is innovative in her research in food trends and recipe development. Julie, along with her fellow chefs and their staff, are constantly working to bring our dining operations new, exciting and fresh options to students, faculty, staff and corporate partners all across campus.

Julie has brought a diverse background to her job. After graduating from NC State in 2007, she moved to Italy to live and cook until going to culinary school at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., where she was valedictorian of her class. After graduation, she worked at a bed and breakfast/fine-dining restaurant on the North Fork of Long Island. Returning to Raleigh, she worked at a local country club before starting at NC State in April 2012. Not only is she busy in the kitchen, but she is busy in the classroom as well, working toward her food science degree at NC State. Outside of the kitchen and classroom, Julie enjoys gardening, reading, sailing, wine tasting and beer making with her husband.”

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
storm

When preparing for inclement weather, we make agreements with all the foodservice providers in the area—not just our prime vendor—since you never know if one will cut off from resupply. For example, when Hurricane Harvey hit, we were ready to purchase from San Antonio and Dallas rather than Houston due to the high water.

Ideas and Innovation
tray

We decided to get rid of plastic trays 
and now offer cardboard trays in 
our cafeteria to support our district’s efforts to expand and improve our recycling efforts. The trays look great, and already schools are requesting more recycling pickups and fewer waste pickups. Recycling pickups cost less than waste pickups, so it’s a win for us.

Ideas and Innovation
nuts

We decided through focus group feedback that our freshmen struggled with the allergy-friendly options or options for students with diabetes on campus. In response, we decided to have a dinner the first few weeks of classes to let some of these students know what was available and let them network with their peers and others with allergies or diabetes. NC State Dining chefs prepared menu items based on foods from cultures around the world. ... From delicious sliced sweet potatoes to savory Ikarian-style roasted chicken, students were able to sample global dishes free of allergens.

Ideas and Innovation
coffee cups

We started a monthly Coffee Hour with just the department director. The goal is to gather 
staff feedback about their jobs and answer individual questions. After the first event, 
several staff members emailed stating they just wanted to meet with the director without 
their supervisors. Now, the meetings offer an opportunity for more of a one-on-one conversation without the presence of the supervisor they 
deal with day in and day out.

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