Danielle Fanter

Danielle Fanter was hired at Legacy Retirement Communities as a server, which sparked her interest for the love of food.

Why Selected?

Robert Darrah, food service director, says: Danielle was hired as a server, which I believe sparked her interest for the love of food. Recognizing her raw talent and desire to succeed, she was promoted to prep cook only six months after being in her day-server position. She completed the DM&A Healthcare Culinary Academy and became a certified healthcare chef. Danielle brings life, energy and passion to her position. Her artistry as a culinarian has blossomed during the past two years, and she’s set herself apart from the other six chefs on our staff.

Details

Associate Chef, Legacy Retirement Communities, Lincoln, NE
Age: 28
Education: High school and some community college
Years at organization: 5

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Being recognized for this award. It’s an honor and a humbling experience. When I was notified that I was being selected I felt like all my hard work was paying off.

Q. What would you say you excel at over more seasoned colleagues?

I’m a very fast-paced worker and a quick study. I’m open to learn and grow and not stuck in my own ways. I’m very energetic and an overachiever.

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

Never expect anything to be given to you. You have to work hard for what you want.

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

Working with other chefs who have more than 20 years of experience and trying to learn from them as much as I can but at the same time trying to stand out and add my own flair and originality to my cooking. Also proving that I can hold everything down on my own.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

Being able to achieve the small goals I’ve set for myself in the past couple of years and move up in the company. Just coming to work every day and trying to do better and accomplishing my work is very rewarding.

Q. What's been your funniest on-the-job disaster?

I heard my manager scream from the storeroom. He was putting an order away. As soon as I came around the corner I saw that he had dropped an entire case of dressing. He was covered from head to toe, and it was dripping from the ceiling. All I could do was stand there and laugh.

Q. What can you look back at now and laugh at?

One of the first times that I had the kitchen to myself and I was doing an à la carte item—grilled cheese. I walked away to do some other production work and I forgot about it. I came back and it was a very small piece of burned up bread. It was kind of embarrassing.

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
rolling silverware

Ensuring that employees regularly complete the busywork missing from their daily checklist can be a challenge, but these tasks often help an operation run efficiently with fewer unexpected costs. At Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Regional Executive Chef Dustin Cochran has found a solution to ensure his walk-in coolers always have a clean vent. Cochran starts with a thorough cleaning of the vent, then slips a hairnet over it to catch the dust. Instead of getting employees to deep clean the vents, they need only replace the hairnet.

Ideas and Innovation
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

Menu Development
meatloaf slices plate

“This is the best meatloaf I’ve ever had,” a diner at Alcatel-Lucent telecommunications in Naperville, Ill., once told chef Iraj Fernando. The dish was rooted in a tried-and-true source—the “Betty Crocker Cookbook.”

“I just seasoned the breadcrumbs differently, used fresh parsley and beat the eggs to make them frothier,” says Fernando, executive chef and manager for Southern Foodservice Management.

Consumer interest is up for classic and comforting meat dishes like meatballs (16%), beef pot pie (26%) and meatloaf (12%) for dinner now compared to two years ago, shows...

FSD Resources