We asked the Silver Plate Class of 2014 a few questions to get an inside look at what makes them the operator all-stars they are today. Find out what they had to say about passion for foodservice, career accomplishments and what it means to be part of a legendary group of operators.
Brad Nelson, Vice President Food & Beverage-Culinary & Global Corporate Chef, Marriott International
Nelson received the 2014 Silver Plate Award in the Hotels & Lodging category. He was nominated byBigelow Tea.
What do you enjoy most about your career in foodservice?
People are what make the difference in the hospitality industry. I love the fact that every day something new and fresh can be discovered. Since I started at 15 as a dishwasher, until now, I have never wanted to be in any other industry.
Tell us about your biggest career accomplishment.
Truly, my biggest career accomplishment is the collective little accomplishments that add up to being a positive influence to others who have chosen foodservice and the love of food as their career.
How is your segment making a difference for the foodservice industry?
In hospitality, whether it be hotel or restaurant categories, the opportunities are greater than ever for aspiring culinarians to begin a career. Advancements in food technology, rethinking traditional preparations, developing an idea into a business, or innovating around a foodservice challenge are all things that add to the hospitality and lodging segment, truly making a difference. Food is now a global passion, and it's great to be in foodservice at a time when so many people are interested in cooking, eating and hosting others.
What advice do you have for someone new to the foodservice industry?
Being a foodie is not enough, you have to genuinely be willing to work a lot harder than in other industries and really like people. This business, at the end of the day, is all about people - traveling, celebrating, working, dating, cooking and dining. You name it, whatever happens in life often happens around food. Take every day as a day to learn something new, and be ready to learn from anyone.
What does being an IFMA Silver Plate recipient mean to you?Truly, I am very honored. I feel it is truly an honor that goes to the incredible talented individuals I work with every day. No one person can do anything without a fantastic team around them, and I have had the great pleasure of working with some amazing people since I started in this business.