October's People profiles

Pirate days, crab soup cook-offs and more are featured in this month's People section.

What was the best team-building activity you’ve done recently with your staff?  

This summer we hosted a “Chopped” style cooking competition for our chefs. We hosted the event at the Columbus Culinary Institute (CCI). During round one, the chef contestants had one hour to complete their plate using mystery basket ingredients. The plates were judged by the CCI culinary instructors. The top two finalists from the first round (there were two weeks of round one competition) advanced to the finals. During the finals, the four chef contestants were given 90 minutes to complete their plates, which were judged using official ACF rules. The energy, passion and creativity of our staff was on display!
—Julie Jones, foodservice director, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources