Confessions of Bertrand Weber

Bertrand Weber, director of culinary and nutrition services for the Minneapolis Public Schools, hates flying but wants to skydive and wishes he had more athletic ability.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

The children we serve and knowing that when I go home every day we have made a difference in the lives of more than 34,000 kids by providing access to quality foods, to many who may otherwise go hungry.  

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Navigating government regulations.

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

Making our district understand the need to provide quality foods to our students, resulting in the district commitment of $39 million to start renovation and building of new kitchens.   

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

Not really catering, but the weirdest request came while I was at the Whitney Hotel and had to remove any painting depicting a hunting scene along with any items and furniture made of leather to accommodate a celebrity guest.

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

I always wanted to be a pediatrician.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to play the guitar, especially as I like to enjoy a good campfire and been one with nature.

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

More athletic abilities. The first time I took my kids downhill skiing, they were all three shocked as I do not have any athletic abilities.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

The plane I am traveling in falls out of the sky. I really do not like flying.

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

Eco tourism in central and south America.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Way too many to list. I love good food from burgers, foie gras and comfort food to grandma’s recipes, but it must be real and not processed.

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

I would love a dinner party with Julia Child, Jacque Pepin, Mother Theresa and Ghandi all at the table.  

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Natural casing hot dogs.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Butter, Dijon mustard, and Gruyere. What can I say, I grew up in Switzerland.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

My daughter and three sons.

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

Organic and natural foods as elitist foods.

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

 This will sound crazy, but I want to skydive.

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

Bull’s testicles.

Q. What are your words to live by?

I love this and live by this from Franklin D Roosevelt: “The test of progress is not whether we add more to those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity chef?

Jacque Pepin for the food and Anthony Bourdain for the personality.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Hutchinson Middle School in Hutchinson, Minn., invited students to help serve lunch in an effort to encourage their peers to try new, healthy recipes, Hutchinson Leader reports.

The students, who are part of the school’s Students in Action Club, created posters to advertise the new meal and helped serve it to students during lunch.

The school’s kitchen manager, Janet Schmidt, said that around 37 more students than normal got in line to try the meal. The school plans to have students from the club help serve lunch once every month.

Read the full story via Hutchinson...

Industry News & Opinion

In an effort to trim costs, the country’s largest senior living company laid off 100 staff members, including regional dining services directors, reports Senior Housing News .

Not all employees who were laid off will technically leave the company, Senior Housing News notes, as some will be reassigned to alternative positions. Brookdale recently posted third-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations and that the company’s CEO called disappointing.

At the end of last year, the Brentwood, Tenn.-based company employed 53,000 workers on a full-time basis, and...

Industry News & Opinion

After receiving mixed feedback from parents, Randolph County School District in Asheboro, N.C., is inviting parents to tour the district’s kitchens and cafeterias to see how the food for school meals is made, Fox 8 reports.

School officials say that the tours, part of the district’s first Food Day for Parents, will give parents an inside look at the upkeep of the facilities, as well as enable them to sample some food and see how the district is upholding USDA guidelines.

Officials also hope that the tours will provide them with more guidance on what parents and students are...

Industry News & Opinion

After fielding complaints from parents and students, Sodexo is launching an initiative to improve dining services at Emerson College in Boston, the Berkeley Beacon reports.

The initiative will kick off this month with an event dubbed Fresh Start, marking the start of several moves aimed at improving service—including the hiring of a new executive chef, the addition of a second sous chef, and retraining current staff on food preparation and presentation.

Members of the Emerson community will also be able to share feedback through the introduction of monthly forums, as well...

FSD Resources