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.