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
k-12

The School Nutrition Foundation —the School Nutrition Association’s philanthropic sibling—and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign have partnered to launch an initiative called Schools as Nutrition Hubs.

“No Kid Hungry really sees schools as a critical place in the fight against childhood hunger,” says Laura Hatch, director of national partnerships for No Kid Hungry. “Schools are really a no-brainer because they have the infrastructure, they have the experience, it’s a trusted place for families. And being able to maximize their programs and maximize the federal...

Ideas and Innovation
walk-in cooler

The walk-in cooler can serve as a gathering place for more than just produce. When temperatures rise, staff at Empire State South restaurant in Atlanta host meetings in the walk-in and make occasional trips to hang out throughout the day to beat the back-of-house heat.

Menu Development
college students eating

Taste may reign supreme when college students choose their next snack, but operators should also pay attention to factors such as price and portion size. Here are the most important attributes students consider when choosing snacks, according to Technomic’s 2017 College and University Consumer Trend Report .

Taste: 78%

Ability to satisfy my appetite between meals: 67%

Price: 64%

Portion size: 54%

Familiarity: 46%

Overall nutrition value: 40%

Protein content: 36%

All-natural ingredients: 29%

Fiber content: 27%

...

Managing Your Business
student shame
Let students charge meals

“We allow students to charge meals at all levels; even in high school, they can charge a certain number of meals. [After that is met,] they are given an alternate meal,” says Sharon Glosson, executive director of school nutrition services for North East Independent School District. Elementary students can charge up to $15 of meals; middle schoolers can charge $10; and high schoolers can charge $5. “Ultimately, [food services is] carrying out the policy; but we’re not necessarily the creators of the policy, [nor do we] have the final say ... because that budget...

FSD Resources