Confessions

Operators open up about their passions, fears and embarrassing moments

Thomas Cooley, R.D. makes his own nine-pepper hot sauce, hates bottled water and would love to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.

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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.  

Iraj Fernando thinks salad bars are overrated, loves Cadbury and wants to travel to the Hayman Islands.

John Miller, system director of culinary wellness for the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, doesn’t understand the low-carb diet craze, wants to eat with Thomas Edison and loves caramel praline ice cream.

Bill McNeace, executive director of dining services at the University of North Texas in Denton, believes in real butter, can’t resist “True Blood” and thinks garlic mashed potatoes are a cop-out. 

Bill Laychur, corporate executive chef for Culinary Support Services at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., loves cheesecake and preparing meat and can’t get enough of Russian/Polish cuisine.

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

Brendan Ryan, director of food service for Framingham (Mass.) School District, loves Champagne, wants to visit the dinosaur age and wishes he weren’t “too fat to fly.”

Charles Anderson, director of foodservice for the Clark County, Nev., School District, enjoys fly fishing at Yellowstone National Park, loves Texas Chicken Fried Steak and wishes he were a scratch golfer.

Becky Hassinger, manager of dining and nutrition services at the University of Missouri Health Care system in Columbia, confesses that popcorn with real melted butter is her guilty pleasure. 

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