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
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...

Ideas and Innovation
shrimp lemon

In an interview with Bon Appetit magazine, Victor Clay, a line cook at Nobu Dallas in Texas, reveals his two simple tricks to prep an average of 15 to 20 shrimp per minute.

First, use kitchen shears to split the back of the shrimp. Then, before removing the vein, run the shrimp under cold water, which will loosen the vein. This cuts down on cleaning time, and prevents cooks from having to soak and rinse the shrimp afterward.

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.

FSD Resources