Confessions of Brendan Ryan

Brendan Ryan loves scallops, hates nouvelle cuisine and can't say no to champagne.
Brendan Ryan, director of food service for Framingham (Mass.) School District, loves Champagne, wants to visit the dinosaur age and wishes he weren’t “too fat to fly.”

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Seeing kids eat my food.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Seeing kids throw my food away.

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

We have a school farm that we serve kids from.

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

When I worked at the Waldorf we did Burmese chicken feet.  

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

I’m too fat to fly. 

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

Sam Moloof. He’s a woodworker in California. He’s devoted his life to doing one thing and doing it well. 

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Scallops.  

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Any fine Champagne. I always say, “If you say no to Champagne, you say no to life.”

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Duck fat. I have a fat theme going on. 

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

Nouvelle cuisine in the ’80s.

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

Eye of yak in Yemen honey. 

Q. Are you a morning or evening person?

I’m on 24-7. There’s no off switch on me. 

Q. What are your words to live by?

You’re born, you live and you die and 99.9% of the world never knew you were here, so enjoy as much as you can.  

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

When there were dinosaurs. I’d look like a fat hors d’oeuvres to them.  

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

Any tropical island, with my fat butt on a beach. 

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

A Claddagh ring my parents gave me. 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

The updated policy comes just before U.S. school districts will be required to publicly list their lunch debt policies, per new USDA requirements starting July 1...

Menu Development
eureka

Since California’s state motto is “Eureka!” it seems fitting that a recent conversation with the director of hospitality at San Diego’s Palomar Health led to the biggest aha moment I’ve had in a long time.

I called Jim Metzger in late April with the purpose of discussing Palomar’s recent commitment to the goal of making 60% of its total menu plant-based by this summer. It seemed a lofty number, and I was curious how the public health system planned to get there.

But my personal eureka didn’t come while we were talking about how Palomar had cleaned up the impulse-buy zones...

Industry News & Opinion

Labeling foods with indulgent buzzwords such as “sweet sizzlin’” and “crispy” can lead consumers to make healthier food choices , according to a recent study out of Stanford University .

In the fall 2016 study, researchers labeled vegetables in one of the school’s dining halls using terms from four categories: basic, healthy restrictive, healthy positive or indulgent.

The green beans, for example, were listed as “green beans” for basic, “light ‘n’ low-carb green beans and shallots” for healthy restrictive, “healthy energy boosting green beans and shallots” for healthy...

Ideas and Innovation
sparkling water

Our carbonated soft drink sales at Earls.67 reflect a national trend; we’re continually down on carbonated soft drink sales by 8% to 9% on an annual basis,” says Cameron Bogue, beverage director at the contemporary-casual chain Earls Kitchen + Bar.

The issue with spa water

Many operators are intrigued with the offering, but they are learning that infused water can’t be offered at a cost to guests unless there is added value beyond cut-up fruit. Bogue says, “I was adamant that I didn’t want to charge for spa water.”

Agua fresca alternatives

At the original location of

...

FSD Resources