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

Ideas and Innovation
coffee shop trailor graphic

A familiar face is coming to the roads of Rutgers University this fall: the Starbucks mermaid. The New Brunswick, N.J.-based school is testing a Starbucks truck throughout the upcoming semester, NJ.com reports . The company began testing trucks on college campuses in 2014, and now has mobile locations at Arizona State University, James Madison University in Virginia, East Carolina University in North Carolina and Sacramento State in California.

The trucks will serve the full lineup of Starbucks beverages that’s available at the outlet’s brick-and-mortar location at Rutgers,...

Industry News & Opinion

A study from Virginia Tech has found a connection between school meal participation and obesity in students. From data that predates the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act , the findings raise questions over whether nutrition standards go far enough.

The research evaluated data from 1998 to 2007, comparing first through eighth grade students who partook in free and reduced-price lunch and those who qualified but opted out. Wen You, associate professor in the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, says she expected to validate theories that increased breakfast...

Industry News & Opinion

Buffalo Public Schools is turning to local chefs and a little competition to help create new menu items, the Buffalo News reports .

In October, local chefs will compete against each other and a team of seven to 10 students led by chef Bobby Anderson, a former contestant on “Hell’s Kitchen,” to create lunch recipes that comply with USDA nutritional requirements and use seasonal produce sourced locally.

“This Chef Challenge is another way to engage our youth in a fun, friendly competition with local area chefs who can help create appealing recipes that will be incorporated...

Industry News & Opinion

After being sued by the Services Employees International Union over its decision to change vendors from Sodexo to Morrison, the foodservice arm at Mayo Clinic continues to face backlash from staff.

Foodservice employees at the Rochester, Minn., hospital last week handed over a petition 1,200 signatures deep asking that they remain with their current employer, Fox 9 reports .

While a Mayo Clinic spokesperson said that staff will be given similar positions and pay rates under Morrison, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota—the union representing much of the hospital’s foodservice staff—...

FSD Resources