David Smigo, Bon Appétit’s executive chef at Cornell College, is “the hardest working human I’ve ever met and a culinary Mozart,” says General Manager James Richards. “He will go to any length to help his team, and he always finds a way to say yes. His loyalty and commitment have no boundaries.”
David and James fed the students remaining on the Mount Vernon, IA, campus until mid-June, and earned Cornell’s Purple Rock Award for their efforts. They then took care of students and repair teams in the aftermath of the derecho windstorm that ripped power and supply lines to the college (and all over Iowa). “After the derecho, Dave drove across the state twice in two days — one day to retrieve a refrigerated truck, the next to get a freezer truck — to save us from losing all of our food,” explains James.
Going the extra mile to get the job done comes naturally to David, who has assisted with a variety of new Bon Appétit account openings and large-scale special events throughout the Midwest. He is also part of the Great Expectations precertification team for the Central region, which helps Bon Appétit teams meet stringent internal quality assurance standards. Prior to joining Bon Appétit in 2016, he opened and operated a brew pub in Illinois and later held a variety of restaurant industry positions as an operations manager and chef.
Cornell College is now reopening after a two-week derecho delay, on a staggered schedule. More than ever, Dave feels, “it is so important to make people feel at home, to inquire about their individual preferences and provide a positive memorable experience. We must create purposefully, with the intent to provide complete nutrition.”
“Dave is always polite and kind; he treats everyone with dignity and respect,” says James. “When Dave is around, the wake is straight, the trains run on time, and the team is efficient and engaged.”