Keri Barron, author of the following Reflections piece, was a marketing intern for Bon Appétit at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland for the past three years. She graduated with dual degrees, a bachelor’s in biochemistry nutrition and a master’s in nutrition, and is off to UNC Chapel Hill to pursue her doctorate in nutrition.
Working for Bon Appétit has taught me many skills and lessons, but I’ve narrowed it down to four. The first is the importance of mindful eating and consumption. Before coming to Case, and especially working for Bon Appétit, I thought it was really only hipsters and people with too much time who made an effort to eat local, fight for workers’ rights, and generally abide by responsible cooking and sourcing practices. I have come to be extremely passionate about many of the principles Bon Appétit chefs follow because I see how absolutely essential it is; fresh, wholesome food also tastes so much better!
Interacting with many Bon Appétit employees has also taught me how far a smile can go. My presence in the different Bon Appétit cafés around campus was scattered, and I would usually just pop in unannounced, but every time, I was always greeted with a smile and someone asking if I needed help. You just don’t see kindness like that everywhere, and I appreciate it, as do the students (trust me, they notice it too).
The most important lesson I have learned is to do what you love. I have interviewed several chefs over the years, and all of them have been very forward about their passion for cooking, learning, and growing as a chef in addition to serving students. I want to have the passion and excitement that they have every day in whatever career path I choose.
And finally, working for Bon Appétit the past three years has taught me how to cook! Not that I’m any good, but I now have more recipes and tips from cooking demos and several chefs to help me as I move out and live on my own.
So thank you to every chef, employee, manager, and especially to [Marketing Manager] Beth Kretschmar and [Resident District Manager] Jim O’Brien for making my time at CWRU even better and for providing me with this unbelievable experience. It’s been a blast getting to know everyone!