The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

Minneapolis


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Taher CEO Explores Culture Through Cuisine

Chef shares experiences, builds community
Dominic+Bollettieri+%E2%80%9825%2C+Drew+Dillon+%E2%80%9825%2C+and+Miguel+Quintero+%E2%80%9825+serve+themselves+Chef+Taher%E2%80%99s+paella+on+Nov.+29.
Faith Zhao
Dominic Bollettieri ‘25, Drew Dillon ‘25, and Miguel Quintero ‘25 serve themselves Chef Taher’s paella on Nov. 29.

On Nov. 29, the CEO of Taher, Bruce Taher, came to serve Blake Paiia, an authentic dish from Spain.Taher is the food management service that supplies The Blake School  with all nutritional requests, including breakfast and lunches.. Taher Food Service manages 3500 employees and serves about 350 public and private schools from California to D.C. with some corporate and federal facilities including the cafe at nuclear power plants. 

Bruce Taher shares his excitement coming in to Blake, saying, “It’s a wonderful opportunity to get in front of customers. Most students [don’t] think that they’re our customers, but they are. We remind them that because you’re here, we have a job, and we come in, have fun and take care of our families.” 

He notes the discussions produced from sharing and serving foods are very educational. “We’re also an education business because we know a lot about food, and we want to  share [our knowledge], and surprisingly, more and more students like to know more about food.”  

“The discussions like that are very educational,” and both Taher and the students are able to leave with greater insights and questions. “When [I am] preparing [the foods], it’s nice [to say] this is where it came from. [It’s] an educational discussion. And some students really like to learn more and more.” 

Taher is a chef driven team, with one or two chefs at each operation because they “like to prepare 75% of our meals from scratch, which requires chefs to get raw ingredients from the local area,” a factor unique among other food managing companies.

Taher has a board of 17 chefs, who govern 175 chefs each. Each year, for the past 23 years, Taher took his board of chefs to different countries. This past year, they traveled to the Philippines and Taiwan. They have also been to Thailand, North Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Chikarda (a village in India), as well as the African countries: Moroccos, Egypt, Tunisia. 

“We are always searching for food that is wholesome that is nutritious and then we find [it] from different cultures,” said Taher.

During these immersive trips around the globe, Taher brings back many insights and wisdom.“So often in [the] US we think we have all the answers but it’s really not true. You go to countries that are 500, 5000 years old and you realize that there are things we can really learn,” Taher said.

From traveling, Taher was able to truly experience and absorb the culture from recipes, noting that the recipes in the U.S. most often do not fully represent the tastes and the feelings from eating the food, especially recipes making Moroccan, Egyptian, North Vietnamese food. 

Taher’s team  emphasizes “bring[ing] those [experiences and feelings] back.”We’re just a bunch of food junkies,” Taher said.

  He shares a story of having a client in the southern part of Texas, and the only foods someone could find were Mexican food or Texan barbeque. To bring them new tastes and flavors, Taher had a master Japanese chef serve and teach the students how to make Japanese food and found that “we had more participation from students and families [than] we’ve ever had. So we don’t want [to] to just assume that the students are just not interested.” 

Taher explains that “Food connects people. Every time you have an occasion, whether it’s happy or not, there’s food, and food brings people together.”

“We have a slogan in our marketing “have a seat at our table” you never know what you get because there’s always a variety, it’s connecting us,” Taher said.

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Faith Zhao, Staff Writer

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