Confessions of Art Dunham

Art Dunham loves Sam Adams Boston Lager, thinks eating escargot is weird and would love to visit Brazil and Southeast Asia.
Art Dunham, foodservice director for Pinellas County Schools, in Florida, loves Sam Adams Boston Lager, thinks eating escargot is weird and would love to visit Brazil and Southeast Asia.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Working with a well-developed staff who are dedicated to feeding children at school.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Entertaining people who do not understand the importance of meals at school.

Q. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Incorporating technology to feed children as fast as possible.

Q. What is the most unusual foodservice/catering request you have ever received?

To create an ice carving of an English knight in armor for a party of banking executives.

Q. If you weren't in foodservice what would you be doing?

Working in the food equipment field.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

To be able to play a musical instrument.

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would be more physically active.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Being removed from my family life.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

My wife.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Sirloin steak with asparagus and roasted potatoes, salad with blue cheese dressing and flourless chocolate cake.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Chocolate gelato.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Sam Adams Boston Lager.

Q. What food fad do you wish had never started?

Twinkies and other junk foods of this type.

Q. What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten?


Q. What are your words to live by?

Always have a goal in mind before you start a project, and respect all that help by treating everyone alike.

Q. What activity is at the top of your bucket list?

Visiting Brazil.

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

A trip to Malaysia and Southwest Asia.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

My health.

Q. If you had a time machine what historical event or era would you visit?

Ben Franklin’s discovery of electricity.

Q. If you could eat dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

Actor Michael C. Hall, of “Dexter.”

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity chef?

Alton Brown.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
tray number

We created lucky tray days to help create an experience surrounding our brand. The trays are numbered; we pick a number and the winner receives a free lunch. We’ve enlisted the help of one of our coaches, who calls out the random lucky winner, and it drums up a lot of excitement.

Menu Development
recipe revamp chicken soup

As a continuous care retirement community, The Garlands of Barrington in Illinois provides daily foodservice to 270 independent living and skilled nursing care residents, with the majority of sodium restrictions coming from the latter, says Executive Chef Nicola Torres. Instead of cooking two versions of chicken noodle soup—a favorite offered at least twice a week—he reworked his recipe into a flavorful lower-sodium version that appeals to all. “Everybody eats soup, so I created a homemade stock that uses no salt at all, ramping up the flavor with fresh herbs and plenty of vegetables,...

Ideas and Innovation
bus advertising jagermeister

Because many locals use the bus system, we paid for some full bus wraps to advertise [job openings within] our dining services program. The buses go all over campus where students can see them, and to apartments where the public can see them. To top it off, the cost wasn’t much more than newspaper rates.

Managing Your Business
line kings girl goat open kitchen

Open kitchen concepts satisfy guests’ curiosity and desire for transparency. But there are some caveats. Here’s how to create a positive experience for both staff and customers when the walls are down.

Train to serve

With the back-of-house up front, everybody gets hospitality training. “Our cooks understand the food and what they’re doing incredibly, but translating that to guests requires [soft] skills that need to be honed,” says Marie Petulla, co-owner of two restaurants in Southern California.

Dress for a mess

At Girl & The Goat in Chicago, chef-owner Stephanie...

FSD Resources