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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.