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jCarbonara
Joe Carbonara

Labor Lessons

Real growth continues to be hard to come by for the foodservice industry. In fact, overall customer traffic was flat through the first quarter of 2016, according to The NPD Group, a market research firm covering the foodservice industry. Revenues and customer traffic may be inching along, but one area growing at breakneck speed is labor costs.

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jMartinez
Juan Martinez

Post NRA Thoughts: My Labor Costs are Killing Me! What Can I do About It?

The National Restaurant Association’s annual trade show has come and gone to much fanfare. From what I saw and read, the participation was phenomenal. We were able to bring our full consulting team from all of our offices and even made time to break some bread together.  This year, I also participated in a panel discussion that explored unit economics  and was moderated by Steve Romaniello, managing director of Roark Capital.

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jStiegler
Jerry Stiegler

Food Delivery Up, Meal Kit Potential and More

What’s up with meal kits? More consumers are having restaurant meals delivered but there’s a catch. Dunkin’ Donuts cuts a major deal with BJ’s Wholesale club. These stories and a whole lot more This Week In Foodservice

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Highlights

Says Who? - Gale Gand, Executive Pastry Chef

Gale Gand is a nationally acclaimed pastry chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, television personality, root beer maker, and mom. She is the executive pastry chef and partner of Chicago-based Tru, with Rich Melman and culinary partner Rick Tramonto. She was recognized in 2001 as Outstanding Pastry Chef by The James Beard Foundation.

sayswho_background Gale Gand

FE&S: Would you encourage your children to work in this business?

Gale Gand: Yes, if they love it and get as much satisfaction out of it as I do. I really found my calling when I got into food and restaurants. I hope they find theirs. But I'm always encouraging them to have a career in wine making so mommy can have a free place in Napa when she retires!

FE&S: If you were not working in foodservice, what would you be doing?

Gale Gand: Probably teaching, teaching art I think. I have a BFA and really get excited when I lead art classes at my kids' schools.

FE&S: Any interesting hobbies?

Gale Gand: Gardening (yawn), collecting old cook books, postcard collecting (mostly food images or recipes cards), collecting old pie tins and bakeware, old cooking brochures, chocolate labels, sewing, drawing, collecting old children's books, playing folk music with my kids and family and cooking (duh). I also like hunting for the best BLT, fried chicken and Caesar salad in the world, staging in pastry kitchens and bakeries in France, and working on goat farms to learn to make goat cheese.

FE&S: When traveling for business, what is one of your favorite past times?

Gale Gand: Checking out bakeries, small ones, big ones, ethnic ones, and old fashion ones. Any bakery, really.

FE&S: What is your favorite kitchen tool?

Gale Gand: Probably my grandmother's rolling pin.

FE&S: What was your first job in foodservice?

Gale Gand: I was a waitress, and just loved it. I loved nurturing the customers, teaching them about the menu items and where the ingredients came from; helping them choose what paired well and serving the food was like a dance to me. I went on to wash dishes, check coats, work the door, answer phones, be a line cook a pastry cook, a sous chef, and voila! That's how you make a restaurateur!

FE&S: If I were just starting out in the foodservice industry, what advice would you give me?

Gale Gand: When someone asks you if you can do something always say "yes," whether you know how to do it or not. You'll figure it out eventually. That's how to push you to grow. And ALWAYS wear comfortable shoes.

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