Elizabeth (Ellie) Haun is a 2018 IFMA Education Foundation scholarship recipient. She attends Michigan State University and is majoring in Food Science. Find out what she had to say when we asked her a few questions about her foodservice scholarship and future career.
What is your major & what made you decide on it?
I am majoring in Food Science and minoring in Beverage Management and Horticulture. I’ve wanted to be a food scientist since I was sixteen years old, when my family friend introduced me to the profession and allowed me to job shadow her as a Sensory Food Scientist at Amway. I loved how food science combined my passions for food and helping people. I could help create food to make people happy, and I could make sure food was safe so it wouldn’t cause illness. My courses have solidified my desire to become a food scientist, as I genuinely enjoy going to food science classes.
How has your scholarship enabled you to pursue a career in foodservice?
This scholarship will greatly help me with the cost of school, as I am paying for my final year of college by myself. It will help me finish college with a Food Science degree that will then allow me to help the world through food.
What was your first job in foodservice?
My first true job in food service was as a prep cook and waitress at The Cove restaurant in Leland, Michigan. I helped make breads, pies, pickles, and more, then served the food I helped create to a diverse array of customers.
What would you say is your "dream job" after you graduate?
I dream of becoming a product developer, creating diet-friendly products such as more economical and convenient plant-based foods. I’d like to help people worldwide by making healthier food more accessible and using food to fight disease, obesity, and poverty. I'd also love to write a cookbook someday, but that would be more "for fun."
What have you learned that you will apply to a career in foodservice?
My food science classes and restaurant experience over the past few years have taught me so much. Food science labs have taught me how to create and process different types of food, from mozzarella cheese to ketchup. Classes have taught me about macronutrients, microorganisms in the food industry, food safety, food quality, and more. The Cove has taught me how to create and serve food on a large scale, and has given me real-world foodservice experience.
What are some of the challenges students like you face in today's world of foodservice?
The food industry is always changing, with trends and products always coming and going. It’s hard to keep pace with this change, anticipating what consumers desire now and in the future. There’s also a challenge of being unique, as almost every idea has already been done.
Do you have a mentor? How have they helped you?
I would call Rick Wanroy, the owner of The Cove, my mentor. He brought me into the restaurant kitchen, an unfamiliar place to me, and taught me food prep and other basics of the restaurant industry. I learned from him the secret to a flaky pie crust, the art of blanching, how to make quick pickles, the recipe for the best chocolate cherry cheesecake, and more. He taught me to move fast and be flexible, since that’s what the restaurant industry is all about.
What is your favorite meal?
My mom and I make the most incredible sweet potato gnocci. It contains few ingredients (flour, cooked sweet potato, nutmeg, pepper) but packs tons of flavor when cooked in a rich sage butter. We pick the sage fresh from our garden.
About The IFMA Education Foundation
The IFMA Education Foundation promotes the next generation of foodservice leaders. The Foundation is committed to give qualified culinary, marketing or food science students support toward completion of education requirements. Over the years, we've accomplished our goal by providing scholarships, publications, educational programs, internships and stipends to accredited institutions and individuals enrolled in accredited institutions.
About People Future 2025
The IFMA Education Foundations new industry initiative, focused on attracting the best and brightest talent into the foodservice industry. Click here to learn more.
How to help the next generation of foodservice!
- Support the IFMA Education Foundation by making a donation
- Get involved in the People Future 2025 initiative
Contact us at IFMA@IFMAworld.com.