Proudest career accomplishment in the past year: 

We have had the pleasure of inviting friends and family to our lunch service on several holiday occasions. With each event, we have seen tremendous growth in the amount of guests that attend, to the point of almost doubling the number we typically feed. The feedback we receive from these events has been a great testament to all the hard work our stuff puts into preparing these meals. 

Short- and long-term career goals: 

A goal that I am currently working on is cross-training my employees. I would like for them to feel comfortable and confident in all areas of the kitchen, whether it be baking or cooking a large meal. Long term, I would like to see the reputation of school food change. I am trying to do my part to change that perception. My goal is to make school lunches appealing for everyone from child to adult. 

Biggest draw to noncommercial: 

For as long as I can remember, my father and mother were in the food industry. I remember watching them cook, serve and engage with customers and took up a passion for cooking at a young age, working in my parents’ restaurant when I was 13. When I was old enough to start working in the kitchen, I was so excited to be alongside the cooks. I also come from a rather large family where we were all in the kitchen making dinner. I got into noncommercial foodservice when my youngest child started kindergarten. It was a way for me to do what I love and be able to see my kids throughout the day.