Confessions of Rafi Taherian

Rafi Taherian wishes he was more athletic and loves ossobuco.

Yale University's Rafi Taherian loves cheese, hates parking tickets and thinks molecular gastronomy is overrated.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Being able to say I work at Yale.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Parking tickets.

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

Empowering our team with transforming us into the greatest dining organization possible.

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

A groom asked that the entrée for his wedding be made from the fish he would be catching. We didn't know if he would catch enough to feed everyone, but he did and it was a great wedding.

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

Urban planning.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

Memorizing names of people I've met.

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

Be more athletic.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Not doing my best.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

My wife and my son.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Ossobuco with soft polenta.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Bread.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Cheese.

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

Low-fat stuff.

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

Baby octopus with all the inners.

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

Molecular gastronomy.

Q. Read the book or see the movie?

See the movie. It's faster.

Q. Are you a morning or evening person?

Very early morning.

Q. What are your words to live by?

Treat people the way you want be treated.

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity chef?

My grandmother. If she lived today, she would certainly be a celebrity.

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

Go back to visit Italy after 25 years.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

My garden.

Q. What is your dream vacation?

Argentina.

Q. What do you value the most in a friend?

Truth.

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

The National Mall on August 23, 1963.