Six food facts to know about San Francisco tech company cafeterias

Brisket burgers, housemade condiments and pedal-powered grain mills are some of the things found in foodservice departments in Silicon Valley cafeterias.

SAN FRANCISCO—On Sunday, the Chronicle Food + Home section ran a little story about how chefs at various tech companies are trying to foster a certain culture within their workplaces. Today, local freelance contributor Alissa Merksamer shares a few fun facts that didn’t make it into the story. Consider them bonuses from the director’s cut.

  1. Dropbox chef Brian Mattingly has an ego befitting a man who formerly worked for Michelin-starred restaurants and headed culinary programs at Apple and Google. He spent months perfecting the burger he serves daily at his Dropbox cafe, Tuck Shop, eventually settling on a blend of brisket, chuck and jowls. He believes the work has paid off. “Our burgers are the best in America,” he says.
  2. In fact, Tuck Shop briefly appeared on Yelp and garnered such high ratings from Dropbox employees that one night, a group of prospective diners arrived from San Jose thinking it was a real restaurant. Mattingly was so embarrassed that he gave them $100 to find dinner elsewhere.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
chili

Winter is when our guests frequently crave something comforting and hearty, and chili is great for that. Our plan is to boost guest engagement this winter by inviting them to design a unique chili experience. The guest chooses the type of chili first, then the vessel: bowl, bread or potato. Next, they customize their dish even further by choosing the toppings, which will be categorized as traditional, creamy, crunch or heat. The wild card, crunch and heat categories, are where my team and I will flex our creativity and highlight different flavors, ingredients or techniques.

Ideas and Innovation
new year party

In search of inspiration for this letter, I turned to the one I wrote for January 2017, in which I griped about some trends I wanted to toss in the new year. Twelve months later, the Sriracha trend has calmed down, food trucks seem slightly less pervasive and, while the definition of “clean” eating continues to evolve, it’s not so laser-focused on GMOs. So it seems my predictions were correct, including the one about where I’d be eating on New Year’s Day (though I had no clue my now-fiance would propose to me that night over duck noodle soup).

However, since this year has been...

Industry News & Opinion

Dining hall workers at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., have been asked to remove stickers worn in protest of working conditions at the school’s dining halls, The Stanford Daily reports.

School officials say that the stickers with the statement “Respect and a Fair Workload” go against a union-university agreement that states union members may not wear “insignia [with] any message that is vulgar, profane, or disparaging of Stanford, or that results in conflict or disruption in the workplace.”

In a conversation with The Daily, Seth Leibson, senior organizer for SEIU...

Industry News & Opinion

The School Nutrition Foundation has named its five School Nutrition Heroes for 2018.

The honorees were nominated by their peers and then selected by the SNF for helping end hunger for homeless and low-income students and their families.

Those chosen are:

Paula Angelucci, child nutrition director, Colonial School District; New Castle, Del. Anthony Terrell, culinary specialist, Shelby County Schools; Memphis, Tenn. April Laskey, director of school nutrition, Billerica Public Schools; Billerica, Mass. Lynne Shore, food service director, Willamina School District;...

FSD Resources