A 25-year veteran of the foodservice industry, John Turenne founded Sustainable Food Systems, LLC, a sustainable food consulting firm, after spending nearly a decade developing and implementing the sustainable foodservice program at Yale University, where he served as executive chef. The Yale Sustainable Food Project earned a number of awards and extensive media coverage and has served as a leading business model for sustainable foodservice. John continues to hold a leadership role in the industry, bridging the gap between conventional and sustainable dining programs and working with the Culinary Institute of America, Harvard Medical School, The New Hampshire Department of Education and Kaiser Permanente as well as several public hospital and school systems. Most recently, Sustainable Food Systems has been working with Jamie Oliver, chef, TV personality and best-selling author on remaking school foodservice programs in the United States.
FE&S: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
John Turenne: People will always need to eat. My manager told me that when I was 16 years old.
FE&S: Finish this sentence: Nobody knows I...
John Turenne: That’s for me to know and nobody else to find out!
FE&S: When traveling for business, what is one of your favorite past times?
John Turenne: Early morning runs through deserted city streets.
FE&S: What was your first job in foodservice?
John Turenne: Folding pizza boxes and washing dishes.
FE&S: Knowing what you now know, would you still pursue a career in foodservice?
John Turenne: Yep! But I tell my kids to seek other professions.
FE&S: If I were just starting out in the foodservice industry, what advice would you give me?
John Turenne: Understand all the stories behind the food you work with. Then ask yourself what is right and what is not.
Click here to read part one of the interview with John Turenne.