Confessions of Tony Almeida

Tony Almeida hates staying within a budget and loves braised lamb shanks.
Tony Almeida, director of food and nutrition at 608-bed Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., hasn’t joined the organic and sustainable bandwagon but loves chocolate-covered raspberries.

Q. What is the best part of your job?

Dealing with employees and customers.

Q. What is the worst part of your job?

Staying within budget.

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

Winning the Silver Plate award in healthcare in 2010.

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

Probably selling insurance.

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

Singing. It would be so cool to go to work every day making people happy.

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

Lose 30 pounds.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

Getting complacent and losing the drive.
 

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

Betty Perez, senior director of food and nutrition services at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, because of her achievements.

Q. What is your favorite meal?

Braised lamb shanks.

Q. What is your "guilty pleasure?"

Chocolate-covered raspberries.

Q. What will people always find in your refrigerator?

Lots of champagne.

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

Organic. All people need to do is wash their produce and it would all be organic.

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

Bone marrow.
 

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

Sustainable foods. People just throw these words around and they have no clue what they mean.

Q. What are your words to live by?

“I have the simplest of tastes; I only want the best.”

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
frozen raspberries

“As a chef, I pretty much have grown up through the business thinking that fresh was always better—produce, fish and meats, especially,” says Ryan Conklin, executive chef for UNC Rex Healthcare’s culinary and nutrition services. “But the more ‘re-educated’ I get, the more I’m learning that some frozen options may be more appropriate for me to be using on my menus.”

Right now, the perception of frozen foods doesn’t match the reality, especially for high-volume foodservice operators, says Conklin. Often, chefs and operators picture not-great product that’s been sitting in a block of...

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Managing Your Business
farmer produce

The seeds of farm-to-table 2.0 have officially blown into noncommercial foodservice. Since the movement has caught the attention of the segment during the past decade, operators have broadened agricultural collaborations outside of just supply. As a result, a new strain of the movement has been created that treats farms as allies in events, training and innovative growing systems.

The 500-bed Overlook Medical Center in Summit, N.J., didn’t start out sourcing produce from local farms; instead, it administered its own growing programs, including an on-site garden and honeybee apiary...

Ideas and Innovation
fsd screenshot web

A full year has passed since we redesigned FoodService Director magazine, taking the publication from its longtime tabloid dimensions to a more convenient size and more creative design, and recasting the content to provide actionable, peer-to-peer insights and ideas for FSDs.

Now we are thrilled to announce that we’ve extended the makeover to our website as well. The new FoodServiceDirector.com has been redesigned to be more engaging and even easier to use. We’ve made it faster to find information, from recipes to HR best practices, that will help you run your facility better....

FSD Resources