As one of nine kids (growing up in a one-bathroom house), I never seemed to have anything “my way.” All that all changed as I ventured out on my own in the 1970’s. Armed with a degree in nutrition, a copy of the new book, The Assertive Woman, and the fresh new Burger King commercial, “Have It Your Way,” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Well, I couldn’t. Even ten years later, it was still a struggle to get a restaurant menu item customized the way I wanted it. At Fuddruckers I noticed the cooks slathering oil on the burger buns before grilling them so I asked if they could skip it for me. After some discussion with the manager, they finally relented. But for many years this special request required the person at the cash register to yell to the back, “No butter on the buns” (can you say “embarrassing”?).
Eventually, though, Fuddruckers got a special request key on the cash register keypad that spelled out “Dry Bun.” And, around the same time (after many requests on my behalf), Papa John’s Pizza added a “light on the cheese” button on their cash registers. Other restaurants followed suit.
Now I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one that made special requests that prompted the industry to change, but I am proud to say that I was finally getting it MY way! So, for all of you that make special requests at restaurants – for health, allergy, or taste preferences… please keep it up! The only way restaurants are going to change to meet our ever changing needs… is if we all ask for it!
Dr. Jo (Joanne Lichten, PhD, RD)
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.