Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson
Associate Editor
foodservicedirector@winsightmedia.com

Steven Johnson is an associate editor for FoodService Director, where he primarily covers colleges and universities. Steven holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in communications from Columbia College in Chicago, and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Prior to joining FSD in May 2013, Steven worked as a freelance journalist in the Chicago area, where he was a contributor to such publications as the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Reporter, The Times of Northwest Indiana and Progress Illinois. Before that time, Steven was a staff reporter for the Courier-News, a daily newspaper where he covered local politics in the city of Elgin. A Chicago native, Steven has lived in pretty much every neighborhood in the city, and as a result, has patronized more bars and pubs than any one person should admit to visiting.

If you weren’t in publishing what would you be doing?
Shooting wedding videos.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I would like to be able to play the guitar. Don’t have the fingers for it.

What is your greatest fear?
Opening up the fridge and finding only a box of baking soda. Wait, that happened last night.

Which living person do you most admire?
My parents.

What would be your dream vacation?
Any place with my wife that doesn’t involve me hiking some trail.

What is your favorite meal?
Barbecued duck. It takes forever to slow cook it on a grill, but very worth the wait when it’s done right.

What is your “guilty pleasure?”
Watching any TV show that involves crime – that means every “Law and Order” and CSI show ever made.

What will people always find in your refrigerator?
Apparently a box of baking soda is the only safe bet.

What is your most treasured possession?
My hats.  


While summer vacation for many kids means endless hours in front of a television or computer screen, one group of middle school children recently got the opportunity to live out their culinary dreams...
Whether an operation feeds thousands of people a day or 500 a week, theft will be a problem the foodservice director faces sooner or later. Foodservice directors are often placed in the difficult...
It’s no secret mobile devices are playing an increasingly pervasive role in the lives of most Americans. None more so than in the lives of college students, where four out of 10 own a...
The role of campus convenience stores is evolving to be more than just a place to grab a bag of chips and a soda. An increasing number of these locations are expanding their food options to include...

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Ideas and Innovation
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On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
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We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
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We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
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Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

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