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The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

My mom joked that with this new job I’ll have gone from covering the coolest new restaurants to writing about school cafeterias. Maybe, but what’s wrong with that? The people working in those cafeterias will be feeding my daughter in kindergarten next year and in college before I know it. They brought a smile to my dad’s face every day last year during his month-long stay in a rehabilitation facility.

You’re feeding our children, our future, our sick and our workforce. This is important work and I’m proud to become a tiny part of the industry. I’m honored to become the fourth editor of Food Management, to take the helm of a brand with such wonderful tradition.

I’ve already had the chance to speak to Mark LoParco, president of NACUFS and the director of dining at the University of Montana who just won a Silver Plate, and his passion was inspiring.

“We’re entrusted to care for other people’s kids and emerging adults,” he said. “It’s important to see they’re well nourished and their out-of-classroom experience is just as enriching as in the classroom.”

I spoke to Lisette Coston, the next president of AHF and also a Silver Plate winner from Tulsa’s St. Francis Health System, and her compassion was just as inspiring.

“It is the people,” she said about her favorite part of the job. “In foodservice you touch everyone: physicians, employees and patients. We take care of everyone and treat them with respect and dignity. Nobody wants to come to the hospital, or only rarely for happy times. Most people are here for unforeseen circumstances and sometimes terminal illnesses and we have to make the experience the best it can be.”

I’m sure I could have gotten similar answers from any foodservice director and that’s what I’m excited about. Yes Mom, it will be different than my time at Restaurant Hospitality, where I was talking to celebrity chefs, and different than when I was interviewing hotel owners and operators while managing editor at Lodging Hospitality, but I have no doubt this will be just as fun and more fulfilling.

I look forward to bringing your passion to life in the pages of Food Management. I want to hear your stories of success, and even failure. I want to understand the challenges you face and how we can help you overcome them.

You may notice the editorial page in the magazine looks a little different. The appearance and feel of Food Management will change under my leadership, but our commitment to you, the foodservice professional, will not. My goal is to bring you the insight and information you need to excel at your job in an easy-to-read and entertaining way.

My first mission is meeting you and learning about the intricacies of the different segments of onsite foodservice. I’ll be at SHFM’s Critical Issues Conference in April, the restaurant show in May and I’m already plotting trips to Orlando, Baltimore, Boston and Connecticut for the big association conferences. Look for me and say hello. Tell me about why you love your job, the challenges you face and what you’d like to see on these pages and on

Send me a note or give me a call. I look forward to getting to know you.

Eric Stoessel
[email protected]

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