Confessions of Terry Baker

Terry Baker loves rack of lamb, always has butter in her fridge and wishes she were a better golfer.
Terry Baker, director of University Dining Services at Oklahoma State University, loves rack of lamb, always has butter in her fridge and wishes she were a better golfer.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

The creativity, brainstorming and working with my team to implement new ideas and concepts. 

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Budgetary restraints.

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

My greatest achievement is my three daughters, seeing them grow up into beautiful and responsible young ladies.

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

Working with a corporate group for a very fancy catered event about 100 miles away, with no cooking facilities.

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

No idea … foodservice is a dynamic profession, constantly changing and evolving.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

To be an artist—painter. I enjoy art immensely.

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

I definitely would like to become a better golfer.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Not sure … It could be waking up at 6 a.m. and realized I had slept through a major tornado.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

I admire those in the military who serve our country with dedication and commitment.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Roast rack of lamb. 

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Chocolate and ice cream.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Butter—never margarine.

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

Fat-free foods.

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

First time I tried squid.

Q. What are your words to live by?

Carpe diem, live life to the fullest and enjoy it.

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

Going on a safari.

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

To go on a month long vacation with my family abroad. First stop would be Italy; last stop, China.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

The diamond ring my mother wore and the one my husband gave me.

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

I would like to see what the world would be like 100 years from now.

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

I would enjoy having a formal dinner with Abraham Lincoln.

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity chef?

Julia Child for what she accomplished in her career and the culinary world she opened to many.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
moving boxes

Because we have 39 locations throughout the state, employees are offered a transfer if they’re planning a move. They’re rehired by the company, but there’s no additional training needed and employees are ready to go on Day 1.

Ideas and Innovation
staff pack

To keep staff motivated, we locked them in a room together. As part of a midsemester training session, we formed work groups and sent them to a local Escape Room to see which team could play the game together most effectively and escape first. Not only was this training a great team-building experience, but it supported a local new business and gave our staff a memorable experience.

Ideas and Innovation
star employee

Senior leadership meets twice a year to do organizational talent planning for every position from the top down. We talk about who are the potential high-performers, and go through how they can grow. People are your differentiator—you need to take care of your assets, and your assets are your human resources.

Industry News & Opinion

Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

"The students are involved from seed to plate," Executive Chef Frank Turchan...

FSD Resources