Students give chef feedback

By Kyle Rougeau
November 12, 2004

Conor McLaughlin

Rodney Stockett holds the position of district chef for Sodexho while here at Cabrini College. Stockett is the head chef at Cabrini while also being in charge of eight different universities, making sure that their standards and qualities are constantly on point.
Stockett has just completed his first year at Cabrini and hopes to continue with the improvements that have been made in the cafeteria and Jazzman’s. “I think we have made improvements here that I am really proud of,” Stockett said, “and the key was the feedback from the students from this year and from last year. It’s really been positive.”
To continue improving he wants the students to realize that if they need something or want something, they can approach him and let him know at any time. Stockett is open to any suggestions and is willing to explain the reality of whether these suggestions can be met or not.
“It seems like they’ve tried to improve a lot but they still have some ways to go,” sophomore, Jen Stassel, said.
Coming to Cabrini has been a major learning experience for Stockett since he comes from an extensive career in the hotel industry. Stockett loves the campus, the number of people and the atmosphere of the community. According to Michael Antolini, general manager of the dining services, “Rodney has a magnetic personality, very creative, approachable, students love him and he has been a great addition to the staff and the college.”
Cabrini has been a positive change for Stockett because here he has been able to devote more quality time to his wife, Christina, also a pastry chef, and two daughters, Sara and Josephina. Also, Cabrini has been a nice balance for him to be able to work on his television show that he is the host of, The Color of Food.
The Color of Food is based on who Stockett is and his travels. It is his philosophy that food can bring people together that would under normal circumstances not break bread. Dining has been a passion of his and he wants to bring it out through the show.
The show broadcasts on 62 stations nationwide under Comcast and will take the approach of involving the audience as part of the show. All audience members will have the chance to eat and participate, and at the end there is a culinary class so that the audience can learn some of the techniques he has been teaching or techniques from that particular area that the show is taking place in.
Recently, Stockett was invited by the Caribbean Tourism Association to come down to Aruba and speak about the TV show and to create strategic partnerships to get people to work together for a common goal since the hurricanes and lack of travel.
Right now, The Color of Food is in the process of working with several Caribbean countries. The show will start shooting at the beginning of the year.
Ten percent of all the proceeds that Stockett makes will be donated to charity. Five percent will go to the Duke club at James Madison University for a scholarship for student athletes. The other 5 percent will go to children hospitals.
Stockett has an impressive resume to go along with all the success he has encountered recently.
Stockett graduated from James Madison University in Virginia on a football scholarship where he studied political science. After college, he decided to take on what he always loved, cooking. He quit his job, sold his car and worked for free at the La Fourchette Restaurant in Wayne, Pennsylvania, one of Gourmet Magazine’s top five tables in Philadelphia area 1995-1997, where he learned his culinary skills. Eventually, Stockett worked his way up to sous-chef, staying at the restaurant for two years.
Next, Stockett worked for The Ritz Carlton for two and a half years where he worked with chefs from all around the world. That is where he believes he truly learned how to be a chef.
After The Ritz Carlton he joined the Paris-based Hotel Sofitel Philadelphia where he was the chef de cuisine for Chez Colette. After being promoted to executive sous chef of the Sofitel in March of 2001 while holding the position of Chef de Cuisine, he opened Chez Gabrielle in New York City and La Architeche in Chicago all during his time at the Sofitel.
Stockett specializes in French Cuisine and tradition French bread techniques. He has traveled to France on six separate occasions and is planning to go to Italy where he hopes to pick up some new culinary skills.

Posted to the web by Cecelia Francisco

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Kyle Rougeau

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