20 Most Influential: Fedele Bauccio, Bon Appétit Management Co.

Fedele Bauccio has been changing the shape of the non-commercial foodservice landscape for 25 years.

An idealist is a person with a dream of changing the world. An idealist with power is a person with the ability to turn that dream into reality. Fedele Bauccio is an idealist with power, and he has been changing the shape of the non-commercial foodservice landscape for 25 years.

Fedele Bauccio

CEO,

Bon Appétit Management Co.,

Palo Alto, Calif.

An idealist is a person with a dream of changing the world. An idealist with power is a person with the ability to turn that dream into reality. Fedele Bauccio is an idealist with power, and he has been changing the shape of the non-commercial foodservice landscape for 25 years.

Bauccio grew up in the industry, starting his career as a dishwasher while a student at the University of Portland.

In 1987, Bauccio teamed with Ernie Collins to found Bon Appétit. His main goal was revolutionary for non-commercial foodservice: elevate the role of the culinary in contracted foodservice by putting chefs in charge of foodservice programs. That effort alone, which helped set the stage for operators in schools, colleges, hospitals and senior living to recognize and capitalize on the value of chefs, would be enough to earn Bauccio a spot on our list.

Since 1999 he has taken on much more noble causes. Starting with a simple idea of promoting local agriculture, which he termed Farm to Fork, Bauccio has become one of the leading cheerleaders for sustainability, organics, animal rights and farm workers’ rights. Today, Bon Appétit accounts use only sustainable seafood, turkey and chicken, raised without antibiotics as a routine feed additive, natural beef burgers, rBGH-free milk and yogurt and cage-free shell eggs.

The company, which is part of Compass Group North America, is in the process of updating its mission statement to go beyond sustainability “to include the issues of public health, with the issue of antibiotics, animal welfare and farm workers’ rights,” Bauccio says, “because you can’t talk about sustainability unless you talk about those things.”

His influence has been felt, and recognized, through the industry. The Seafood Choices Alliance named him a Seafood Champion of 2007; the Natural Resources Defense Council chose him for its first Going Green Award, in 2009; the Chefs Collaborative named him its Sustainability Pathfinder of 2011; and this year the International Association of Culinary Professionals presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. 


Foodservice Director has undertaken a bold initiative by identifying people who we believe are having the biggest impact on non-commercial foodservice. Our list may surprise you and should certainly intrigue you. Our honorees have backgrounds as varied as their personalities. They range from the father of the modern-day food truck to the wife of a sitting president. They include operators and suppliers, chefs and consultants, CEOs and civil servants. There are traditionalists and there are mavericks. Well-known names share space with hot newcomers. In all, 17 people, two groups of individuals and one institution compose the list. It’s time to meet FSD’s 20 Most Influential.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
busy kitchen

While catering a wedding for a previous employer years ago, Rahul Shrivastav—now director of catering at University of Michigan—found himself in a panic when an elevator malfunction put salad service on hold. “The wedding was in a very old building and the elevator had issues,” he says. “We had 200 plated salads in the freight elevator when it got stuck. The dinner needed to start—they were doing their toasts.” In a panic, Shrivastav hustled up a plan B: His team would station a chef outside the ballroom, and he’d plate new salads right there.

Luckily, the elevator was fixed in...

Menu Development
beau rivage resort blended burger

Stealth health is so 1998. When author Evelyn Tribole’s original book on sneaking healthy add-ons into meals was published nearly 20 years ago, there may have been a genuine nutrition need to fill. But as today’s diners are increasingly requesting more produce at the center of the plate, another need has taken the lead: a desire for creativity. Here’s how operators are openly blending meat with other ingredients—or eliminating animal products entirely—to take protein to another level.

In April, dining halls at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., began offering the Beyond Burger, a...

Ideas and Innovation
desserts plate

We’re knocking down a wall in our bar area, which will create a more inviting atmosphere and allow us to host a coffee and dessert bar in the space on off nights when the bar is closed.

Ideas and Innovation
soup sandwich

Aside from Black Friday shoppers, there may be no crowd of people more eager to get to their bounty than wedding guests headed for the passed appetizers. While they’re surely thrilled for the bride and groom, that feeling comes second to the thrill of landing that first shrimp skewer—especially after a long ceremony. Same goes for work-related cocktail parties. Caught up in an awkward conversation? Oh look, it’s the mini-grilled cheese guy!

This month, FoodService Director takes a deep dive into catering, from the latest and greatest in menus to starting a new program at your...

FSD Resources