Eric Haney

Cal Dining's Eric Haney started as a sous chef and quickly worked his way up to become an executive chef.

Why Selected?

Mike Laux, assistant director of administrative services, says: Eric Haney is a culinary professional with more than 10 years of experience in the industry. For the past three years, Eric has been working for Cal Dining, where he started as a sous chef and quickly worked his way up to become the executive chef at the Foothill Dining Commons. Eric has represented Cal Dining in several ACF competitions, including the NACUFS Culinary Challenge where he won first place in the Pacific Region. He has worked with local farmers and producers to provide sustainable, clean and healthy food for students. Eric brings his young and fresh approach to help improve the already outstanding experience that Cal Dining provides.

Details

Executive Chef, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Age: 27
Education: Associate’s degree in culinary arts and B.S. in foodservice management from Johnson & Wales University, Charleston, S.C.
Years at organization: 4

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Becoming an executive chef. That was a goal of mine and it came to fruition quickly. I also won first place at the 2010 NACUFS Pacific Culinary Challenge.

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

Always give 100% of your effort. Also always continue to learn and better yourself in your job. It’s all about staying positive and knowing that at some point your hard work will pay off.

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

Becoming confident in my skills and experience. That relates to working with and managing people who are old enough to be my parents. Establishing that dynamic was challenging at first.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

I would say being a manger and working with my staff. Unlocking the potential my staff has and seeing them get excited is really rewarding.

Q. What would you like to accomplish in your career in the next two years?

I feel like I still have a lot to learn as a chef and as a manger. I just want to continue to grow in that aspect so I can just keep getting better at my job. I want to try to get better at decreasing the amount of waste we have coming out of our facility. We have a big focus on eco-friendly green products.

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

One of our big groups during summer conferences is a football camp, which is all middle- and high school-aged kids. We completely underestimated how much those kids were capable of eating. They ate twice as much as we thought they would.

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

The feeling of being completely out of control. Sometimes you feel like you are putting out one fire and just running to the next one. After doing this job for a little bit you realize that is the job.

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
lettuce dirt

Savor at McCormick Place developed the Green Thumb brand for menu items and products featuring its rooftop bounty; the latest is a pale ale made with the first crop of hops grown on the roof. Promoting that branding and the convention center’s green certification has brought in business from groups with a sustainability focus.

Ideas and Innovation
business pamphlet fair show

As we struggle to recruit and retain millennials, we had our current millennial employees invite friends who don’t work for our organization to a Q&A session where we find out why our organization is or isn’t appealing to them, and what they are looking for in an employer. I recommend doing this off-site in a casual environment so you can get honest and open feedback that could be useful for better marketing.

Menu Development
pho bowl

Achieving authenticity can be tricky. Late last year, Oberlin College landed in the news when students protested the way dining services at the Ohio school was botching ethnic food, serving up inauthentic versions of Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s a challenge other operators are confronting, too, often tapping staff and patrons for inspiration.

At 260-bed Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite, Executive Chef Bradley Czajka, himself of Polish-Ukrainian descent, started Global Stations as a way to recognize the diversity of cultures at the hospital. “We have such an...

Menu Development
sweet pea ravioli

On any given night at the Wake Robin senior living facility in Shelburne, Vt., residents may find spring sweet pea and mascarpone ravioli with white wine cream sauce or acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and cranberries on the menu. These dishes, along with a new sweet-potato burger topped with cilantro aioli, aren’t just delicious, says Director of Dining Services Kathy King. They’re also completely vegetarian.

The popularity of Meatless Mondays and the growing number of people who call themselves “flexitarians” have impacted menu development in every noncommercial sector. Although...

FSD Resources