going green

going green

Redefining the Organic Movement
Magazine 0509 Profile Laurel Miller 230x160


Championing sustainable agriculture
Laurel Miller '96, owner of The Sustainable Kitchen®, teaches cooking with local, seasonal ingredients, to children and adults alike. A California-based food and travel writer for regional and national publications, she’s visited Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Peru, Canada and Mexico in the last year researching regional food and farm cultures.

lessons from jwu The professional kitchen is no place for the weak, the whiny or the lazy, and you never know everything there is to know about food or cooking.

role jwu played in your career It gave me the fundamentals to the culinary arts, which helped me to become an effective recreational cooking instructor. It also gave me the confidence to teach.

formula for work-life balance My work is my life. I love educating people about topics that are so important to me, and I have been fortunate enough to travel all over the world.

career advice for new alumni Don’t assume that a culinary arts degree and, or experience make you deserving of a high-ranking job. You have to be prepared to pay your dues, just like everyone else.

favorite quote “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may be hit by a bus.” Value every moment.

Magazine 0509 Profile Chad Pawlak 93x93CHAD PAWLAK ’95
Bringing new meaning to organic dairy As founder and president of Organic Farm Marketing, Wisconsin Organics and Grass Point Farms, Chad Pawlak ’95 is working to revitalize his state’s waning dairy business. Approaching national distribution of products free of pesticides, chemicals and growth homones, Pawlak’s companies promote family farms, grass-fed cows, fair compensation for farmers and preservation of the country’s agricultural community.

lessons from jwu The world is full of talent and being exposed to so many students from all corners of the country and planet showed me how competitive life is.

role jwu played in your career It jump-started my career by preparing me for the reality of the business world. I was armed with an understanding of how business worked, rather than just graded papers.

outsider, rebel, entrepreneur or team player For me stepping off the curb and walking into the street of owning my own business required me to be all of the above at some point in my career.

career advice for new alumni
Be an entrepreneur. Find something that needs fixing; look for an injustice. If you feel up to it, you might end up making money as a byproduct of your efforts.

qualities admired in others Faith, patience, loyalty and perseverance.

Magazine 0509 Profile John Turenne 93x93JOHN TURENNE ’78
Developing dining programs for a healthy planet John Turenne ’78 is founder and president of Sustainable Food Systems. Turenne draws on 25 years of culinary experience to create enviromentally, socially and nutritionally responsible dining programs for universities, hospitals and public institutions. He educates diverse audiences on food policy and food service practices.

lessons from jwu Professionalism. The food industry can fluctuate between high drama and laid back fun. It takes a committed focus to not lose sight of one’s purpose while still managing to enjoy yourself.

role jwu played in your career Credibility in my educational background. People know and respect the name and the role it plays in the food industry. Coincidentally, it led my son [Evan Turenne ’03] to follow suit.

defining moment Being told that I wasn’t ready for a promotion added oil to my fire. When I succeeded, I realized I can do anything I set my mind to.

career advice for new alumni
Keep yourself flexible and open to whatever comes your way. Don’t look too far into the future, and don’t sweat the things you can’t control. Let them go.

favorite quote “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.” — Jimmy Buffett

Magazine 0509 Profile Paul O'Connell 93x93PAUL O'CONNELL ’83
Bringing the farm to the table Paul O’Connell ’83, is owner of Chez Henri in Cambridge, Mass. Paul developed his signature cuisines by working with Boston culinary icons, Lydia Shire and Jasper White. His restaurant only uses fresh, organic ingredients from area farms. He’s appeared on “Good Morning America,” and “The CBS Early Show” and has written for an assortment of culinary publications.

lessons from jwu Personal appearance and the way you conduct yourself in the workplace. Also, paying attention to the details of preparing food are paramount.

vision for your industry’s future Every day a greater percentage of educated chefs will influence the way the majority of people eat in a positive way for their health.

defining moment When I opened my first restaurant, Providence, in Brookline, Mass., and received numerous accolades from press as well as chef peers.

formula for work-life balance I am still learning how to maintain a work-life balance. It is one of the hardest parts of being a passionate chef and having a family. It has gotten easier as I get older.

books on your nightstand I am currently reading “An Omnivores Dilemma” by Michael Pollan and “Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga.”