Confessions of Linda Stoll

Linda Stoll admires Oprah, wishes people appreciated her singing and loves a good burrito and margarita.
Linda Stoll, executive director of foodservice at 85,000-student Jeffco Public Schools in Golden, Colo., admires Oprah, wishes people appreciated her singing and loves a good burrito and margarita.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

It’s different every single day.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Dealing with all the rules and regulations. It sometimes feels like they get in the way of what common sense says is best for kids.

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

We solved the competitive foods issue. We have taken over all student stores and worked out profit sharing.

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

During focus groups about 70% of the kids asked for sushi, which was surprising.

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

Lying on a beach. Or be an interior designer.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

Singing. I sing all the time, but no one appreciates me.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Spiders. Or if I realized I had done something to cause harm to someone else.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

Oprah. She’s had a big impact on a lot of people.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Mexican food—a bean burrito with a good margarita.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Barbecue potato chips.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Milk; I’m a milk freak.

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

Organic fruits and veggies.

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

When we were kids, we visited our relatives and would go to gourmet grocery stores and get weird things like chocolate covered ants.

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

Self-serve salad bars. I think you can offer fresh fruits and veggies without worrying about safety.

Q. What are your words to live by?

That was then; this is now.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
hands team

In November, students at University of Missouri in Columbia began leading protests against discrimination faced by people of color on campus—including some marches through the dining halls. Julaine Kiehn, director of the school’s campus dining services, said the 2015-16 school year was a tough one, but she was proud of MU’s students for being at the forefront of a national movement.

And not only did the protests launch important conversations with students, but also with staff. Kiehn heard the protests and thought that her student workers, at least, might not feel safe and welcome...

Ideas and Innovation

When it comes to sustainability, sometimes the smallest kitchen changes can make the biggest difference. When Chris Henning, senior assistant director of dining services for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, switched from standard latex gloves to nitrile gloves, he also set up a recycling program. Once recycled, the gloves are turned into playground equipment, bike racks and park benches.

Henning says the nitrile gloves have been a good fit for his department, both in terms of durability and cost. “Participating in the campus buying program reduces the cost, as [our]...

Ideas and Innovation
elderly old hands

A family’s request for at-home meal support for a patient at Lee Memorial in Fort Myers, Fla., led System Director of Food & Nutrition Services Larry Altier to uncover a gap in care. He saw that only 1% of patients had been coded (diagnosed and labeled for billing purposes) as malnourished, while more than 60% of all Lee Memorial patients are over 65 years or older, a population that experiences the issue at a higher rate.

His discovery helped more rigorously identify malnutrition, but it also strengthened Lee Memorial’s community connection. The hospital launched a delivery...

Ideas and Innovation
nutrition facts label

Despite operators’ attempts to communicate nutrition information to guests via cards and labels on the food line, many guests still feel they have no clue what’s in their food. University of Illinois food economist Brenna Ellison shares a few guesses as to why consumers ignore these signs following a recent study on their placement in dining halls.

Q: Who is most likely to read the cards?

A: Students who were already exhibiting more healthy behaviors. So those were the students who track their intake using an app or a food diary. After the first week, we found the rates of people...

FSD Resources