Kiss the Cook

Published in FSD Update

FSD is on the hunt for the most influential executive chefs in the industry.

At this year’s National Restaurant Show in Chicago I had the good fortune to meet James Beard and “Top Chef” winner Stephanie Izard at her new venture, Little Goat. I was there as part of a group of foodservice operators for the Taste the Trends Tour. Before the tour I had hoped we would get the chance to get a brief “hello” from Izard, so I was pleasantly surprised when we walked up to the second story into the restaurant’s private dining space and balcony to see Izard preparing the Sloppy Goat sandwiches that we would be dining on that afternoon. Not only did Izard prepare our food for us, she hung around signing copies of her book, taking photos and talking food with the tour’s attendees.

I had watched Izard’s season of “Top Chef” and was more than a little excited to meet her. It was a wonderful experience to meet a young, female chef who is having such a substantial effect on the industry. Izard isn’t the first chef I’ve had the pleasure of meeting who fits the young, female, making a difference description.

A few years back I had the opportunity to shadow Pnina Peled, executive chef at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. You can always tell when a person is passionate about his/her work. Peled radiates that passion. We met in her cozy office and she talked food with me for a while. Peled’s food knowledge is, of course, outstanding, but it’s her patient interactions that were really impressive. We had not taken but a few steps onto the pediatric floor before a patient came up and threw her arms around Peled, which I found out was not an uncommon reaction to the chef’s presence on a patient floor.

For the next few hours I watched as Peled checked in on her patients—one of which was a young boy. This child had been coming to the hospital for years to receive treatment, both on an in-patient and out-patient basis. The boy and his parents spent an hour talking with me about the impact Peled has had on their son’s treatments. Like many cancer patients, this child had a difficult time eating—or having the desire to eat. Peled, upon learning of his discomfort, made a personal visit and asked him what he liked to eat. She then went to the kitchen to make it for him personally.

The fact that Peled had such a personal connection with this—and many other patients—was a truly inspiring experience for me. That’s why we at FoodService Director wanted to honor those executive chefs who are making a difference in their operations and the non-commercial industry as a whole.

So we’re asking you to nominate the chefs in your operation or in a co-worker’s facility who you think are deserving of the most influential honor. Send us a brief description of the chef and his/her impact on the non-commercial industry. We’ll pick the most deserving from the bank of nominations and feature those chefs on our website. The deadline for submissions is July 31.  

Keywords: 
chefs

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
sam kass peter romeo

We’ve heard it time and again—millennials are extremely conscious about what they eat. They want to know what is in their food, where it is from, how it was made and more. And, as we’re learning, Gen Zers are even more aware and information-demanding about the food they eat than their older counterparts.

Hitting those higher-quality food standards is no easy feat. But it’s becoming a must, said chef Sam Kass—known for being the White House chef for the Obamas, a senior White House policy advisor on nutrition policy while he cooked, and currently the senior food analyst for NBC News...

Sponsored Content
chicken veggies recipes

From Tyson Food Service.

With operators becoming increasingly strapped for time and labor, it’s a strain to prepare every aspect of a menu item back-of-house or keep the menu populated with a variety of options. While it doesn’t mean they have to cut corners when developing new items, operators can use more versatile items that are simple enough to apply across the menu to save on labor and cost as well as be more efficient.

With versatile proteins, operators can increase menu opportunities without kitchen complexity, and drive new customer traffic or increase the number...

Industry News & Opinion

An audit into Kennesaw State University’s dining services revealed the university accrued roughly $2 million from off-campus students paying for meal plans as part of their semester fees, according to a report by Fox 5 Atlanta .

Meal plans at the Kennesaw, Ga., university are automatically assessed to students whether they live on campus or not. The university does not refund unused meals, draining the pockets of commuter students each semester.

“I think it’s ridiculous that we pay all this tuition and then we’re here paying another big fee,” commuter student Emmanuel...

Industry News & Opinion

As part of a 10-year contract to run Eastern Michigan University’s foodservice, Chartwells will invest $5 million in the Ypsilanti, Mich., university, as well as provide it with $18 million in capital improvements, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press .

The university’s board of regents approved the contract on Tuesday, citing the new revenue as an opportunity to expand and improve campus foodservice. EMU’s website indicates the partnership will allow for more student input as well as the introduction of food trucks and improved technology.

“The primary reason...

FSD Resources