Confessions of Damian Monticello

Damian Monticello wants to play bass and thinks gourmet coffee is overrated.
Damian Monticello, corporate hospitality services manager for Florida Blue, in Jacksonville, has attended every MenuDirections save one. Here he shares his favorite conference memories, among other tidbits.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Getting to work in the foodservice industry without all of the nights and weekends.

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

Being smart enough to ask my wife to marry me.

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

To make a fruit platter that was the colors and shape of the University of Florida Gator Head logo. 

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

Playing bass/singing in a rock ‘n’ roll band. 

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

Climbing walls like Spider Man would be pretty cool.

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

I wish I could get rid of that slice I hit with my 3-wood.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

My daughter, Carson. Carson has Asperger’s Syndrome and amazes me just about every day.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Our “lucky” can of cranberry sauce. It has survived 10 years, two moves and has a place of honor on the top shelf.

Q. What do you consider to be the most overrated foodservice trend?

Gourmet coffee.

Q. What are your words to live by?

Even if you fall on your face, at least you are moving forward.

Q. What’s your favorite MenuDirections memory?

Being honored as one of the 2005 FSD of the Month recipients at the 2006 conference in Orlando.

Q. Who was your favorite speaker at MenuDirections?

Dr. James Painter in New Orleans. The buzz around the room after his mindless eating presentation was pretty impressive.

Q. What’s your favorite Dine-Around restaurant from MenuDirections?

Fleet Landing in Charleston. Love that Low-Country Cuisine. 

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

My 1973 Fender Mustang Bass Guitar.

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

Playing a round of golf with Bill Murray. 

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