Confessions of Joie Schoonover

Joie Schoonover treasures her wedding ring and wants to dine with Abraham Lincoln.

Joie Schoonover, director of Dining and Culinary Services at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, wants to travel to the 1950s, dreams of Europe and doesn’t understand fried foods on sticks.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

The people!

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

The games people play.

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

The reorganization of our management team.

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

We had a speaker that we had to keep protected during his visit. It was requested that I cook dinner for him at an “undisclosed location” while the campus security director patrolled outside.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Not accomplishing a goal I have set for myself.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

Bill Clinton.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Eating my husband’s meatloaf dinner together as a family.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

A bottle of my favorite local wine and plain Greek yogurt.

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

Fried things on a stick. The latest one, butter, just sounds disgusting.

Q. What are your words to live by?

Everything happens for a reason, take one day at a time, it will be OK, which Julaine Kiehn [director of dining at the University of Missouri]
told me a long time ago.

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

The 1950s. It seems like such a simple, happy time in our past.

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

A trip to Europe with my family.

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

Abraham Lincoln.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

My wedding ring.