This year, Bon Appetit welcomed new head chef Eric Boarini to Mills; Boarini has brought new spices and flavors to Founders Commons. Students on campus have shown positive responses towards the new changes to the dining hall’s meals since Boarini joined the staff at the beginning of the school year.
The Campanil: What influenced you to be a chef?
Eric Boarini: Honestly, I was given a pretty good opportunity to work in a kitchen by a chef who I had a lot of respect for in the past. He showed me a lot of stuff that got me hooked on it. I went to college to become a high school English teacher. So it was not my plan to be a chef.
TC: What jobs have you had in the past?
EB: I was the Executive Sous Chef down in Santa Clara University prior to this. Then I was the chef at the Getty Villa down in Malibu. I was the catering chef at the Getty Center down in L.A.
TC: How did you hear about Mills?
EB: Well, honestly the first time I heard about Mills was when I was offered the job. I have only been here in the Bay Area for only three years, so I am getting familiar with it.
TC: Do you like being head chef at Mills?
EB: Yeah, so far! It has only been a month, but it has been great.
TC: This year a lot of students have been noticing a major difference in the food that is served at Founders. Are you doing anything different?
EB: It is the same people cooking the food, more or less. I have the same staff as last year. We are using the same standards that Bon Appetite uses as far as humane practices with our animals, seafood, protein, and produce. We use as much seasonal and local foods — those things should be the same. I am bringing in some new menus and recipes to the kitchen.
TC: Do you have any last comments regarding Mills and becoming the new Head Chef?
EB: I am excited to be here. I love getting comments and suggestions, [and] I love participating with the students here and making the food program what they want it to be.