Cameron Thompson
18 of 30

Cameron Thompson

Executive Chef, Catering and Retail Distribution
PantherDining Catering, Georgia State University
Atlanta
Age 26

Top accomplishment this year:
Moving up to executive chef and operating the first hydroponic farm at a Southeastern university.

What would you say you excel at over more seasoned employees?
Making trends profitable and understanding the younger consumer market. I’m also not afraid to jump in the fire with my crew if we’re super busy or short on staff. I won’t hide in my office—we are a team, and I lead by example.

What’s been your funniest on-the-job disaster?
During a catering event, we tried out marble slabs on an action station. The Sterno flame was too hot for the slab, and it cracked right there on the spot. That day I learned just how efficient, organized and fast my team could move in a disaster.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
I’m extremely passionate about my menus and food. In leadership roles, I’ve had to learn to trust others to deliver quality. I’m learning to step back and let others create in their own way.

18 of 30