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
hydroponics

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

Ideas and Innovation
hybrid worker

Some of our employees can work four 10-hour days. It’s really helped with balance. We’ve also created a lot of hybrid positions, such as a personal services assistant and foodservice worker role. It allows workers to pick up more shifts and cover both positions.

Ideas and Innovation
cheeseburger

We set up an interactive collaboration with our dietetics department where students worked with our culinary team to test how recipes are imagined and produced. One of the recipes they came up with was a barbecue tempeh sandwich, which they believed was a great option for vegan students across campus. We added the sandwich to our On the Go program and then expanded it to our vegan station on campus due to its success.

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