Stephen Schappert

Incorporating garden-grown vegetables has led Stephen Schappert to success.

Why Selected?

According to Maureen Gallagher, vice president of marketing for Metz Culinary Management, Stephen has transformed dining services at Montgomery School by:

• Working with the science department to incorporate vegetables and herbs that are grown in the on-site garden into the lunch menus

• Adding international selections to the menu to introduce students to new items and educate them on world cultures

• Providing catering service during non-service hours, which enabled Metz to provide all catering services for the school

Details

Food Director (Metz Culinary Management), Montgomery School, Chester Springs, Pa.
Age: 27
Education: CIA graduate
Years at organization: 2

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Building an herb garden at Montgomery School with the students. We use the herbs grown in the garden in our daily lunches. 

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

I feel I can better deal with the children because of my personality and I can be more innovative. 

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

Love what you do and make the best of it. If you love what you do you will never “work” a day in your life. 

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

I had to relocate for jobs twice. 

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

Being able to do what I love for a living and being with a company that allows me to think outside the box, be creative and inspire healthier living.

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

We are trying to get our herb garden to be year-round to use as many local items as possible. 

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

It was a cold, gloomy night and we were preparing for a big event. We needed to heat up an item and we were running out of space so we decided to use an oven that we had never used and weren’t sure if it would work. We turned it on anyway. An hour goes by and I start smelling something burning so I stop what I’m doing and look for what I smelled. The oven that we had turned on and weren’t sure about was smoking and on fire, so I turned it off and quickly ran for a fire extinguisher to put out the inferno. The funny thing about it was all our food was ready to go out so thousands of dollars worth of food could have been ruined by the suppression system, but I luckily saved the day. 

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

I’m only 27 years old. I’m not old enough to look back and laugh. 

Under 30

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
to-go coffee

We have a fixed kiosk that not only sells coffee, but also protein smoothies, grab-and-go reimbursable meals and other a la carte items. We used updated equipment like what is used in Starbucks and incorporated school colors. It is a very popular addition to one of our high schools, and we are planning on expanding it to two additional high schools.

Menu Development
sam kass talking menu directions

Sam Kass, former White House senior policy advisor for nutrition policy and executive director of the Let’s Move campaign, spoke at FSD’s MenuDirections conference in February.

Q: What’s one of the biggest food-related problems facing our country?

A: Obesity is the No. 1 threat to national security—20% of what we’re spending on healthcare is due to obesity. This isn’t a policy problem. The root of our challenge is culture, and what we value in our food. The healthy choice needs to be the easy choice.

Q: What are some important steps to modeling healthy eating and creating...
Menu Development
three sisters salad

“Everyone is doing Thai in college dining,” says Patrick McElroy, campus executive chef for Bon Appetit at Washington University in St. Louis. So he set out to “push the envelope” on ethnic cuisine and offer Native American dishes—a move that had support from the American Indian Student Association. But McElroy didn’t realize the challenge ahead. “I wanted to maintain the integrity and tradition of the food, but there were very few recipes,” he says. “I had to do a lot of research.” To develop the menu, he enlisted the help of chef Nephi Craig, founder of the Native American Culinary...

Managing Your Business
dancing fruit happy

When editor Jill Failla and I sat down to discuss ideas for this month’s cover story, data from FoodService Director’s sister company Technomic was the spark that lit the flame of conversation. She told me the most recent Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report had found that consumers are more willing to order and pay more for items they think are both healthy and tasteful. My questions: OK, what does that look like in practice? How does it factor into operators’ decision-making processes? And what the heck do we call that phenomenon?

After tossing around some ideas, we had it: the...

FSD Resources