Henry’s Food Court looking for replacement for executive chef

With Brian Kaden leaving his role as head chef, Campus Dining Services are now in search of a new person to fill that role.

Kaden left the position approximately three weeks ago to take a position that was closer to his home.

“He lives in New Jersey so he was commuting an hour and a half,” Dining Services General Manager Ron Williams said, “He was transferred to a new job that was 15 minutes from his house.”

Currently Williams is in the hiring process and looking for someone to replace Kaden as the new head chef for campus dining.

“There are different things that we are looking for,” Williams said. “The school is looking for someone that can interact with students and present our face to the school.”

Williams said there are many facets to being the head chef.

The ideal candidate must be able to work with the university but also know how to work with Sodexo and know their programs.

“Somewhere in there, they must be a good cook,” Williams added.

Williams said Sodexo is the one mainly doing the search for the university. They do a pre-screening on potential candidates and then Williams is given the list.

Now Williams has selected potential candidates for the position based off that list

“We have them come in and do a blind taste,” Williams said. “You can talk to people and look at their resume all you want but you never know where they can actually perform.”

In the meantime, Eric Meyers, sous chef, has been filling in until a permanent chef is hired.

Dining services has also had additional come in to help fill catering orders and fill in where needed while the position is vacant.

With the new head chef coming in, students are hoping for some changes and improvements to the dining experience at Wilkes.

“I would like more homemade and home-style-cooking,” junior nursing major Angelia Prebich said. “Like my mother makes.”

Prebich said she would like to see healthier choices added to the menu. Williams said one of the potential candidates has a knack for pizza-making.

“One of the main candidates we are interviewing wants to make fresh pizza dough,” Williams said, “He is pretty focused on scratch cooking, more than what we do now.”

“I would like a lot more healthier options,” freshman pre-pharmacy major Terra Landis said. “I would also like a more diverse salad and soup bar.”

Williams has had some candidates in for the new position, and is hoping to offer one of the candidates the job shortly.

“I hope to offer him the job within the next couple days,” Williams said. “We will have to work with his schedule though and his current job.”

Williams said there will not be any other changes to the dining staff, just filling the position that was left vacant from Kaden.

“It will be nice to have a fresh perspective,” Williams said. “We always look for someone that could bring something to Wilkes dining.”

Williams is hoping to have the new head chef in after the Easter recess.