Confessions of Byron Sackett

Byron Sackett wishes he could dine with Steve Jobs and loves Mountain Dew.
Byron Sackett, child nutrition director at Lincoln County Schools in Lincolnton, N.C., wishes flavored, upscale coffees had never been created and would be a tomato farmer if he weren’t feeding children.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Being able to help children. Giving them healthy meals to help the education process.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

The red tape at the federal level. 

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

Giving back to the community that was so good to me. 

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

A tomato farmer in Florida. My grandpa was one of the biggest tomato farmers in the state.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

Athletic talents. I see the way kids look up to athletes and that could help me make even more of an impact with kids.

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

To be 21 again, knowing what I know today. 

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Letting people down.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Anything with white chocolate. 

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Fresh fruit and Diet Mountain Dew.

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

Flavored, upscale coffees. 

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

Kangaroo. 

Q. What are your words to live by?

Never be afraid to hire someone smarter than you. If you don’t you won’t learn more than you know today. 

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

The signing of the Declaration of Independence. 

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

Steve Jobs. In three decades his importance on society will be what Thomas Edison’s was.

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

Walking the Great Wall of China. 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
soup sandwich

Aside from Black Friday shoppers, there may be no crowd of people more eager to get to their bounty than wedding guests headed for the passed appetizers. While they’re surely thrilled for the bride and groom, that feeling comes second to the thrill of landing that first shrimp skewer—especially after a long ceremony. Same goes for work-related cocktail parties. Caught up in an awkward conversation? Oh look, it’s the mini-grilled cheese guy!

This month, FoodService Director takes a deep dive into catering, from the latest and greatest in menus to starting a new program at your...

Ideas and Innovation
shrimp lemon

In an interview with Bon Appetit magazine, Victor Clay, a line cook at Nobu Dallas in Texas, reveals his two simple tricks to prep an average of 15 to 20 shrimp per minute.

First, use kitchen shears to split the back of the shrimp. Then, before removing the vein, run the shrimp under cold water, which will loosen the vein. This cuts down on cleaning time, and prevents cooks from having to soak and rinse the shrimp afterward.

Menu Development
beau rivage resort blended burger

Stealth health is so 1998. When author Evelyn Tribole’s original book on sneaking healthy add-ons into meals was published nearly 20 years ago, there may have been a genuine nutrition need to fill. But as today’s diners are increasingly requesting more produce at the center of the plate, another need has taken the lead: a desire for creativity. Here’s how operators are openly blending meat with other ingredients—or eliminating animal products entirely—to take protein to another level.

In April, dining halls at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., began offering the Beyond Burger, a...

Industry News & Opinion
nacufs award

Ohio University Director of Culinary Services Rich Neumann was on Wednesday evening awarded NACUFS’ 49th annual Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award, the association’s highest honor.

Neumann’s foodservice career began as an undergraduate at University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. After his first day as a student cook, he says, his production manager wanted to fire him because he was striving for perfection, not—as she put it—“now and fast.” But he kept with it, eventually moving up to student manager. “If I had quit, I would not be here today,” he says.

During...

FSD Resources