Confessions of Rich Burlingame

Rich Burlingame doesn't get kale, wants to go sailing and can't resist Hershey bars.

Rich Burlingame, director of nutrition services at Great River Medical Center in West Burlington, Iowa, wants to sail the world and would be an architect if he weren’t in foodservice.  

Q. What is the best part of your job?

The culinary research, which includes eating at local establishments, as well as when I travel for business and leisure.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Ever increasing budgetary constraints.

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

I haven’t done it yet.

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

Luau Cookies. The customer wanted palm trees, “sand,” and hula girls in grass skirts, all on a cookie.

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

I would be a starving architect.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Getting pancreatic cancer. Too macabre? It’s true, though!

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

A plain Hershey bar.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Irish butter and cheddar.

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

Gluten free as a diet or for non-clinical reasons. 

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

Smoked elk tongue.

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

Eating kale.

Q. What are your words to live by?

If you don’t take care of your body, where else are you going to live?

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

The maiden voyage—first-class ticket, please—of the Titanic, as long as I could get back into the machine before the final plunge. 

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

World cruise on the QE2… I will need that time machine again. 

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

Sailing the Caribbean with friends.