Confessions of Deanne Carlisle

Deanne Carlisle loves family reunion meals and doesn't understand the fuss over gourmet coffee

Deanne Carlisle, director of foodservices for the VA Medical Center in Portland, Ore., loves family reunion meals and doesn’t understand the fuss over gourmet coffee. 

Q. What is the best part of your job?

No two days are ever alike—each day has its unique challenges as well as opportunities to make a difference for the veterans we are so honored to serve.
 

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Email jail.

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

Professionally: President of ASHFSA in 2009 and receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award for AHF in 2010. Personally:My husband, Tim, and I raising our two beautiful girls.
 

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

We used an overnight delivery service to bring in fresh orchids, leis and specialty Hawaiian fruits for a premier event when I worked at Oregon Health & Science University.
 

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

Professional photographer traveling the world for National Geographic. 

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

Photographic memory.

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

Live more in the moment and not be such a perfectionist.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Campfires at our family reunions outside Red Lodge, Mont.

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

Gourmet coffee. 

Q. What are your words to live by?

“Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll end up in the stars!” 

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

Walking down the Grand Staircase and partaking in 14-course meals with the first-class passengers on the Titanic. 

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

Hiking and sightseeing in all our National Parks.

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

Abraham Lincoln. 

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

Trekking the Himalayas in Nepal.