Confessions of Mark Freeman

Mark Freeman would like to meet Walt Disney and hates food trucks.
Silver Plate winner Mark Freeman, senior manager of global employee services at Microsoft in Redmond, Calif., would rather be sailing, fears dancing and would like to dine with Walt Disney.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Each day is never the same as the next or last. This is what gets me up in the morning every day. Our industry is exciting and so diverse that you never get bored.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Not having enough time to dream. It seems like there is so much going on every day that there isn’t time to think up what will be the next innovation.

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

Helping to raise my kids to be outstanding members of society.

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

Barbeque for 10,000 people, “next week and we don’t want the normal hot dogs, beans and hamburgers. We want stir-fry, steaks and corn on the cob.”

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

Sailing, preferably where the sun shines all the time.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

First, I wish I had a talent for playing a musical instrument. Second, I admire the passion it takes to be a chef. They really can do magic with their talent, and I wish I had the time, ability and patience to participate in that craft.

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

I wish I could be more patient. Whenever I get an idea in my head I just want to get it done and then move on to the next thing.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Dancing.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

Nelson Mandela and Mohammad Ali for enduring the hardship of sticking to their convictions.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Going to a new Seattle restaurant every week to taste the good the bad and the ugly.
 

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Hummus, carrots and Greek yogurt (I’m on a diet now).

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

Food trucks. Maybe it’s an age thing but I grew up in the food industry where a food truck was called a “roach coach” and I think the current trend is just trying to mask that a bit.

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

Conch fritters in Belize.

Q. Read the book or see the movie?

Read the book.

Q. Are you a morning or evening person?

Morning.

Q. What are your words to live by?

Live each day fully and enjoy life.

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

I think I would go back to the times of the sailing explorers. They never knew what to expect around the next corner. I especially would have wanted to have been on George Vancouver’s search party of Puget Sound. It is so beautiful out there and has so many unknowns.
 

Q. What do you value most in a friend?

Accepting me as I am and not trying to make me something I’m not.
 

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

Sailing in the Caribbean on a 55-foot monohull sailboat with a sail full of wind and the sun warming the blue water enough for swimming when we get to a deserted island.
 

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

Walt Disney. He was such a forward thinker and I would have loved to hear more about his dreams.
 

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

A ceramic bee that was given to me by my grandmother. It sat on her table and always had honey in it. I remember always sticking my finger in the honey when I visited.
 

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

Sailing in the Marquesas Islands.
 

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity chef?

Anthony Bourdain.
 

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
usa map regions

From global flavors to clean labels, it’s clear that some buzzworthy noncommercial menu trends are universal. But FoodService Director ’s 2016 surveys have revealed some noteworthy differences within segments in the Northeast, South, Midwest and West regions. We combed through data from our College and University Census, Hospital Census and Long-Term Care/Senior Living Census for the most surprising variations in menu trends and expectations.

1. Plant-based dishes are on the rise at Midwestern colleges and universities

Seventy-seven percent of C&U operators in this region say...

Industry News & Opinion

Ithaca College is turning to new solutions to address overcrowding at a dining hall that is already understaffed, The Ithacan reports .

The Ithaca, N.Y., school's Terrace Dining Hall has seen a large influx of students this year after being renovated, causing lines to wrap around the dining hall.

To ease congestion, Sodexo Area General Manager Jeffrey Scott told The Ithacan that the eatery has added a separate entree line, as well as signage displaying menu items at less-crowded food stations in an effort to draw students to the other side of the dining hall.

The...

Menu Development
mac cheese pizza

Anybody think the popularity of mac and cheese has played out? Anyone?

More likely, foodservice directors are trying to bake new life into the comfort staple by tweaking the presentation and components. Here’s a snapshot of how that rejuvenation effort looks in streetside restaurants.

Industry News & Opinion

Noncommercial foodservice operations and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to set aside the rules, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1.

If the court rejects the request, restaurants and other businesses will be required after that date to pay overtime to any salaried employee who works more than 40 hours in a week and earns less than $47,476 on an annual basis.

The...

FSD Resources