Confessions of Ruth Arnold

Ruth Arnold thinks fondue is overrated and loves pickles.
Ruth Arnold, operations manager for Nutri-Serve Food Management Inc., in Burlington, N.J., wants to ride in a hot air balloon and says you’d find her dealing cards at a casino if she weren’t in foodservice.  

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Knowing that I am making a difference in kids’ lives.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Too much paperwork for the constantly changing rules and regulations. It takes me away from the kids.

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

Becoming a mother and adopting my beautiful daughter.

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

Serve miso soup to the students.

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

I’d most likely return to dealing table games in a casino.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

Rock star.

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

I’d worry less.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Chicken parmigiana.  

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Watching “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” on TV.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Pickles–homemade from produce grown in our garden.

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

GMO food. You shouldn’t mess with Mother Nature.

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

Fondue restaurants.

Q. What are your words to live by?

If it’s not fun, why do it?

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

The sixties. I am a peace and love kinda girl. 

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

George Harrison.

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

Hot air balloon ride. 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
delivery

We offer a food delivery service to students who are too sick to eat at the dining halls. Oftentimes when we’re sick, we want simple, bland food that’s easy to digest. We also include a bottle of water since staying hydrated is super important. Students who have used the sick meal program are very grateful that we offer this service because they don’t have to stress over how they’re going to eat when they’re too sick to come into the dining halls. The program is also important in preventing the spread of illness.

Ideas and Innovation
smoothie

Nurses often mention that at 2 p.m. they are dragging and just trying to get through their 12-hour shift. This winter I will be implementing a 2 p.m. pick-me-up, which will include a smoothie station where they can create their own smoothie to help get them through their shift. It will be filled with energy-boosting ingredients to personalize their own drink, such as bananas, almonds, spinach and even dark chocolate.

Ideas and Innovation
chili

Winter is when our guests frequently crave something comforting and hearty, and chili is great for that. Our plan is to boost guest engagement this winter by inviting them to design a unique chili experience. The guest chooses the type of chili first, then the vessel: bowl, bread or potato. Next, they customize their dish even further by choosing the toppings, which will be categorized as traditional, creamy, crunch or heat. The wild card, crunch and heat categories, are where my team and I will flex our creativity and highlight different flavors, ingredients or techniques.

Ideas and Innovation
new year party

In search of inspiration for this letter, I turned to the one I wrote for January 2017, in which I griped about some trends I wanted to toss in the new year. Twelve months later, the Sriracha trend has calmed down, food trucks seem slightly less pervasive and, while the definition of “clean” eating continues to evolve, it’s not so laser-focused on GMOs. So it seems my predictions were correct, including the one about where I’d be eating on New Year’s Day (though I had no clue my now-fiance would propose to me that night over duck noodle soup).

However, since this year has been...

FSD Resources