Eric Haney

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

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

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.

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.

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