Confessions of Jeremy Manners

Jeremy Manners enjoys venison steak and pasta carbonara, hates energy drinks and dreams of buying a classic Corvette.
Jeremy Manners, culinary & nutrition director for West Haven Manor, in Apollo, Pa., enjoys venison steak and pasta carbonara, hates energy drinks and dreams of buying a classic Corvette.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Talking with residents and improving our department to better serve them. I also enjoy working with other directors inside and out of the company to help them become better leaders.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

The monotony of some tasks, like inventory and order twice a week, every week …

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

Growing in my roles and affiliation with the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals and the Nutrition and Foodservice Education Foundation.

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

A last-minute catered lunch for six, prior to one of the six being fired. I’m still not sure why I was let in on the secret prior to it happening. Awkward!

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

Well, I wanted to be a lawyer when I was younger.

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

I would go back to the 1960s. I love the music and the cars, and I could see myself owning a drive-in restaurant or a diner.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Being separated from my closest circle of friends.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Grilled venison steak, baked potato with all the toppings and marinated grilled asparagus—along with a cold beer, of course.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Orange juice and outdated milk. I’m not sure why I still buy milk.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

A hand-knit Smurf made by my grandma when I was about four years old. I keep it in a Plexiglas case with a photo of her.

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

Energy drinks … yuk! Give me coffee.

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

Buying a classic Corvette.

Q. What are your words to live by?

Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be.

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity chef?

Paula Deen. I have a stick of butter Christmas ornament from her restaurant’s gift shop.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
unsung heroes graphic

Febin Bellamy, a senior at Georgetown University, is the founder of Unsung Heroes, a nonprofit that features service workers on college campuses in man-on-the-street-style Facebook interviews. This year, Bellamy is working with a dozen schools to launch their own chapters of the storytelling platform. Here’s what he’s learned about staff shoutouts.

Q: Why did you decide to start Unsung Heroes?

A: One day I started a conversation with a custodial worker in the business school that I would see all the time. I learned that we had a lot of similarities; for instance, we both wanted to...

Ideas and Innovation
bolognese sauce

We’re trying to bring scratch cooking to all the elementary schools, but we’re taking it dish by dish. Right now, we satellite a lot of the dishes out. This month we made a Bolognese from scratch, and went to each of the schools to talk to them about the process and see if they could implement it. It helps us find out the hurdles and what they are going to need to make it work.

Ideas and Innovation
rolling silverware

Ensuring that employees regularly complete the busywork missing from their daily checklist can be a challenge, but these tasks often help an operation run efficiently with fewer unexpected costs. At Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Regional Executive Chef Dustin Cochran has found a solution to ensure his walk-in coolers always have a clean vent. Cochran starts with a thorough cleaning of the vent, then slips a hairnet over it to catch the dust. Instead of getting employees to deep clean the vents, they need only replace the hairnet.

Ideas and Innovation
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

FSD Resources