Chef Justin Newgaard is Not Slowing Down
Written by: Chef Cary Neff on March 1, 2017
Justin Newgaard, Corporate Executive Chef, Midwest
Culinary School: Le Cordon Bleu
Degrees Achieved: Diplome de Culinaire, American Studies in New Hampshire – Associates in Culinary Science
Number of years in culinary: 18 years of Culinary Experience
Number of years with Morrison Healthcare: 12 years
Chef Justin Newgaard has done a lot in 12 years. From Regional Culinary leadership to Marketing, and more recently, as a Corporate Executive Chef, it’s safe to say Chef Justin is not slowing down. As a part of his new position, he trains and onboards new Morrison chefs, as well as leading our culinary effort in opening key Morrison accounts, focusing specifically on the Midwest.
At a young age, Chef Justin was immersed in farm life. Through his experiences on his great grandfather’s dairy farm, he gained a true appreciation for vegetables, and remembers what his great-grandfather taught him, “…which vegetables to grow and to ripen them while caring for the soil.” Chef Justin’s grandmother also worked on the farm raising hogs, farm-to-table style. He explains, “From a young age I learned how to properly care for the animal, respect where it came from, and what it truly meant to be thankful for the meal.” The experience he gained on his family’s farm has proved to be invaluable in his journey to become the chef he is today.
In his daily life, Chef Justin works to create at least a 1% improvement at Morrison and at home every day and brings a great mindset of incremental improvement to our Morrison culinary team. He likes to educate and drive consistent, achievable development while living and pushing Morrison values to generate positive change. He believes that “Our food makes a difference. Food is healthcare. Diagnosis and treatment are functions that care for the sick. It’s gratifying every time we feed patients great, nutritious food as they begin their road to recovery.”
Celebrity Chefs such as Sean Brock, David Chang and Marco-Pierre White provide culinary inspiration for Chef Justin, but he draws the most creativity from his Morrison Healthcare team members. “I learn something from almost every Morrison team member I work with; Chris Richars, Corporate Executive Chef, showed me the benefit of patience and professionalism; Bruce Key has taught me to be humble and slow things down; and Dawn Ropson, Regional Director of Operations, helped me educate associates and managers. I appreciate their help and want to thank them for their help and leadership.” Justin shows that great, appreciative learners are also great teachers.
Over the years, his culinary passion has evolved into a focus on health and wellness. Now that he has a family of his own, Chef Justin and his wife, Krista, work together to emphasize the importance of eating healthy with their 11-year-old daughter, Quinn, while maintaining a mostly vegetarian diet. They know if they can make an impact for her, they can help other parents teach their children healthy eating habits. Support at home is always important for a Corporate Executive Chef who is called to provide leadership in accounts across the U.S. Justin shared with us, “I married a great woman who supports me in everything I want to do in the kitchen. Krista is a stay-at-home mom, which is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Krista and my daughter are my life. I couldn’t do what I do with a smile on my face every day without them.”
Justin likes working with young people, “Their need for knowledge is great and our job is to teach. We must take the time to fully explain to engage them.”
We’re glad Justin is part of our Culinary Team and appreciate his passion for food and dedication to looking after patients and caregivers.
Chef Cary Neff
For more than 65 years, Morrison Healthcare has specialized in healthcare food service. It’s all we do. Today, we are the ONLY leading national food and nutrition services company exclusively dedicated to serving more than 600 hospitals and healthcare systems in this country. If you would like to join our Culinary team, click the link below to explore opportunities: