Kris Saradpon

Kris Saradpon thrives at being able to diagnose a problem and fix it.

Why Selected?

David McHugh, executive chef for SDSU Dining Services, says: Kris built, refined and is in charge of our Quality Assurance Program. He has put together several complete recipe books including ingredients, methods and photos of the method as well as the finished product. Kris also successfully manages between 15 and 20 employees in our cold prep kitchen that produces thousands of items weekly.

Details

Manager, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Age: 29
Education: B.A. in political science from the University of California, San Diego; A.O.S. in culinary arts and baking and pastry from Grossmont College, El Cajon, Calif.
Years at organization: 5

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Winning two ACF gold medals and the NACUFS Culinary Challenge. For me, the wins are a testament to how much support I have at SDSU Dining Services. Also, without the talented team and encouragement from my supervisors, I would not have the luxury of time to practice or receive honest and constructive criticism about my dishes. 

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

I think I can diagnose what is broken, how to fix it and, from there, how to make it better. For instance, when I first started, I had to train all of my employees how to build each type of grab-and-go salad. I created an easy-to-follow, step-by-step recipe book with all the measurements, ingredients and color photos. In the end, I only had to train each person on how to use the recipe book instead of how to make each type of salad. 

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

If it is easy, it’s not worth it. It is not necessarily the end result that successful people enjoy, but rather the journey they took and challenges they had to overcome in order to get there. 

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

Building enough confidence to compensate for my lack of experience. Also, being a younger manager is like a double-edged sword because I have to excel at my job twice as much to earn the respect of team members who are older than me and have more experience, as well as prove to my younger staff that I am knowledgeable and talented. 

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

At the beginning of the school year, we hire student employees who do not know how to cook or clean or hold a knife, but with time many of them blossom into hardworking and talented cooks. Seeing how far they’ve come at the end of the year is very rewarding.

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

I would like to help grow the business and leave a legacy of efficiency and fun. Once we establish a system of delivering consistent high-quality service and food and maintaining a low attrition rate, I would like to duplicate that system and be in charge of running my own unit as a chef manager.  

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

During an on-campus catered event I accidentally bumped into an open cart that was holding four gallons of freshly made vinaigrette. It fell and burst open all over the floor. To me, it all happened in slow motion and I thought that I had just ruined the salad course. 

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
condiments

It’s still true that diners want it their way. But the straightforward, choose-your-toppings Chipotle model is, as the kids say, so basic. The noncommercial diners of 2018 are coming to the table with expectations for meals that fit their personalized needs, from portion size to protein type, calories and more. Operators are responding by pushing beyond the basics with spice-your-own-soup bars, specialty condiment stations and serving size tweaks cooked a la minute.

For some operations, the next phase truly revs up the personal part of personalization, turning diners into chefs...

Managing Your Business
glendale senior dining catering

At the residential facilities Glendale Senior Dining serves, catered birthday and anniversary parties, summer barbecues and other private on- and off-site events give senior residents a convenient alternative to cooking themselves, Director of Business Development Todd Lindsay says.

For these events, Glendale, which serves locations throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, will often tap employees from nearby units to take on catering events; and for weekend or summer engagements, it will reach out to the parent company’s school dining division for a few extra hands.

“We...

Industry News & Opinion
Shedd Aquarium White Sox Shedd The Straw

The Chicago White Sox have partnered with the Shedd Aquarium to support their “Shedd the Straw” initiative: a plan that the groups expect to curb the use of plastic straws by about 215,000 this baseball season.

Beginning on Earth Day, April 22, drinks at all dining locations throughout the Sox’s Guaranteed Rate Field will not be automatically served with plastic straws. Guests will be provided with biodegradable straws upon request. Guaranteed Rate Field is said to be the first in Major League Baseball to ban the use of plastic straws.

“At one of Shedd Aquarium’s local...

Industry News & Opinion

The Henry P. Kendall Foundation, a philanthropic group that aims to create a more sustainable food system in New England, has announced its creation of the New England Food Vision Prize .

The foundation is inviting foodservice leaders from colleges and universities throughout New England to submit their ideas on how to create a stronger food system that will help the region produce at least half of its own food by 2060.

Qualifying ideas must be collaborative and replicable, among other requirements. The foundation hopes that by reaching out to large food purchasers, like...

FSD Resources