PACES Appoints Amy Conger as Executive Chef for SUNY Potsdam Dining Services
Potsdam Auxiliary College and Educational Services is pleased to announce the appointment of Amy Conger as the new corporate executive chef for dining services at SUNY Potsdam. Her culinary achievements will bring a new dimension to the No. 1 student-rated dining service in the SUNY system.
A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Conger has more than 20 years of experience in the food service industry. She has worked for large corporations, such as Sodexo, the Compass Group and Aramark, as well as small private companies. Conger also founded and ran her own catering company in Hartford, Conn., before moving to the North Country to be closer to family.
Conger has served as a sous chef, executive sous chef and executive chef throughout her career. She brings enthusiasm and a passion for food, along with a strong administrative ability, to the College. Conger's passion started when she was a 13-year-old in her first home economics cooking class at school. She quickly became adept at her new calling and found herself volunteering to create and cook menus for teacher's meetings, retirement parties and other special events at school.
With Julia Child as her hero, Conger believes that the freshness and quality of ingredients are the foundations of any dish. She looks forward to continuing to work with local and regional vendors, to continue PACES' long history of support of the Farm to Table program in St. Lawrence County.
While a student at Johnson & Wales, Conger said that she learned that there are no "taboos" in food anymore. "You can mix and match flavors, colors, textures and tastes," as long as you remember who you are working for—the customer.
According to Conger, understanding "what makes people happy" is the key ingredient to a successful recipe.
"Food runs the gambit, from molecular gastronomy to Escoffier, so you have to know and understand what your customer wants—their grandmother's spaetzle and pork, or a five-star restaurant version of lobster timbales," she said. "You have to get feedback from your customers, and use that to continue to learn and hone your craft."
Some of her favorite cooking experiences originate from her employees' and customers' menu suggestions.
Conger feels strongly that meeting customers' expectations is a team effort. She will administer the Chef Tech menu management system, as well as training and supervising all dining services staff in the 10 dining locations across campus, regarding food preparation, presentation and service. To maintain standards, Conger will also conduct product quality reviews.
"My goal is teach my staff to want my job, because it is an amazing one to have!" Conger said. "I look forward to working with the SUNY Potsdam campus and sharing our passion for food, which is the expression of our hearts, hands and experiences."
About PACES Dining Services:
Potsdam Auxiliary and College Educational Services Inc. (PACES) is a not-for-profit corporation operating under contract with SUNY Potsdam. PACES' mission is to offer high-quality products and services, while maximizing customer value and financial return, to the benefit of the larger SUNY Potsdam community. PACES Dining Services was rated the No. 1 dining service for comprehensive colleges in the SUNY system, in the Student Opinion Satisfaction Survey. For more information about what makes PACES No. 1, visit www.potsdam.edu/offices/paces.
Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.