Confessions of Erwin Schmit

Aramark's Erwin Schmit confesses his love of Obama and dislike of food TV.
Erwin Schmit, foodservice director for Aramark at Grainger in Lake Forest, Ill., doesn’t get TV food programs, admires President Obama and has eaten octopus while it was still moving.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Being creative with culinary programs, catering and marketing to achieve the goals and commitments we’ve made to clients and customers at Grainger.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Being my own worst critic. If something doesn’t go as planned, I try to remember that tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to improve.

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

Being nominated twice for Aramark’s International Guest Chef program, six Midwest region Culinarian of the Year awards and being nominated to work with Charley Trotter at Trotters Restaurant.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

Anything with musical instruments.

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

Being overly critical of myself and over thinking things.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Letting people down.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

President Obama.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Cajun food.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Vacuuming.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Homemade dressings, hot sauces and spicy peppers.

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

Food programs on television. They give people that want to be chefs the wrong idea of the business. They make it seem so easy, but the real world in this business is very different.

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

Live octopus in Japan, cut up and served while still moving.

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

Deep frying everything.

Q. Read the book or see the movie?

Read the book. It’s cheaper.

Q. Are you a morning or evening person?

Way early morning person.

Q. What are your words to live by?

“Impossible is not a word, just a reason not to try.” It's hung above my desk.

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

The late 60s and early 70s. Things changed in a lot of ways then.
 

Q. What do you value most in a friend?

Trust.
 

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

Being in one of those huts on the water in Tahiti.
 

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

My dad.
 

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

My collection of 50,000 comics, from the 50s until 2000s.
 

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity chef?

In the past, Emeril and Charley Trotter, but I also have a lot of respect for what Jamie Oliver is doing.
 

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
coffee senior living

From Keurig Green Mountain.

Healthcare foodservice represents the perfect environment for serving coffee. For the time-crunched staff, family and friends visiting patients, and seniors craving a treat, snack, or pick-me-up, coffee is considered a valuable amenity.

What’s more, purchasing beverages away from home is a popular habit. According to Technomic’s 2016 Beverage report, consumers average 3.6 drink purchases per week from foodservice outlets. And coffee is one of the most popular beverage options— Technomic’s 2016 Snacking Occasion report found 61% of consumers say...

Industry News & Opinion

South Valley Preparatory School in Albuquerque, N.M., has launched a range of healthy eating initiatives to combat obesity, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

The initiatives are in response to a State of Obesity report that stated that nearly a quarter of 10- to 17-year-olds in New Mexico were overweight or obese in 2016. The school banned junk food on campus during school hours for both students and staff, and offers healthy seasonal meals in its cafeteria. Students also take weekly trips to local farms to get an inside look at where their food comes from.

While the school...

Industry News & Opinion

Food delivery company Good Uncle is expanding to 15 college campuses this fall, The Daily Orange reports.

The company plans to grow along the East Coast and is looking at opening at schools such as George Washington University, Pennsylvania State University, Villanova University and American University. Good Uncle hopes to open at 50 to 100 campuses by 2019.

Starting as a delivery-only kitchen in 2016, Good Uncle partners with local restaurants to recreate their popular dishes and then deliver them to college students. The company offers free delivery, no delivery minimum...

Ideas and Innovation
wahoo tacos

School lunch is heating up. As expectations rise in the noncommercial sector, the old-fashioned cafeteria has become a hot topic. Political pressure on schools has seesawed over the past eight years, and nutritional regulations on items like sodium and whole grains have been overhauled (and back again). Meanwhile, students, parents, teachers, administrators and policymakers are demanding more healthfulness and better taste from school meals, often for the same cost.

Yet the industry’s best are dedicated to getting better, even while looking to the future with caution. “There’s not...

FSD Resources