This week, we sat down to chat with Nick Alessandri! Nick is from Chicago and after getting his Culinary degree, he graduated from Purdue in 2010. He’s been the Executive Sous Chef at Earhart Dining Court for almost 3 years and that big title comes with a lot of responsibilities!
So what exactly does an Executive Sous Chef do, Nick?
Short answer: a lot. On a daily basis, I’m responsible for meal production (we serve about 4,000 a day), food presentation, maintaining sanitation standards, and food ordering. I also develop recipes, design menus, and work with student interns.
Oh wow, I guess Purdue keeps you really busy! Now for some fun questions.
What characteristic do you value the most in your coworkers?
Sense of urgency! We’ve improved so much since I’ve been here, purdue is eating way better, and we have fun at work! We have fun, but we’re serious about food!
If you were a candy bar, which candy bar would you be and why?
I’d be a Payday because most desserts that are really good have some sort of nut in there. They are key to pastries!
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a musician. I play guitar and collect them! I’ve got 6 right now.
Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
I’ve never been out of the country, but I worked as a personal chef on for train cars, so I’ve been to a lot of states. I’d say the most interesting place I’ve been is Key West, Florida. I don’t consider it Florida, it has its own personality. It’s like a place with no rules.
What is your favorite movie/tv series?
Definitely John Carpenter’s Halloween and Good Will Hunting.
Alright, Nick, that’s all I’ve got! Is there anything you’d like the Purdue community to know?
All us chefs are working hard to stay current with food outside of campus. It’s taken time, but we are making huge strides on our food. I want everyone to understand that we have a lot on our plate (no pun intended) and we’re getting things done, it just takes time. We’re trying to please everyone at Purdue, while still making good, solid food.
We don’t want to make food just to fit a standard, it has to be really good! We’re trying to make the dining experience better for you all. We want the food to be top notch and we want you to be excited for every meal.
We really appreciate you, Nick!
We had a great time talking to a great chef and we can’t thank you enough for helping feed Purdue!