What do school lunches and fixing work have in common? Dan Giusti, that’s what. Dan Giusti, Founder and CEO of Brigaid, is the former Head Chef of Noma (the best restaurant in the world) and now works in school kitchens. Since 2016, his company Brigaid has collaborated with K through 12 school districts to support and elevate the quality of their child nutrition programs. He recently joined me on my podcast, Let’s Fix Work, to talk about how he is changing what is expected of food served in these public spaces.
But of course, I was intrigued by how he fixed work for himself. Here is his story:
From the age of 18 until he was 30 years old, Dan was working in the restaurant industry with the ambition of seeing how high he could climb the restaurant industry ladder.
Through hard work and dedication to his craft, he became the Head Chef at Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. Dan attained the height of his fine-dining career. This was a turning point for him and provided the confidence to contemplate and consider “What am I going to do next?”
And, guess what? It wasn’t what you think. Sure, he thought about opening a restaurant of his own. His true passion, where his values lie, was rooted in the idea that he simply wanted to feed people yet he wasn’t sure what this meant.
One day he stumbled upon an article about school food. He realized the structure was already there with kitchen staff, kitchens, and locations. And of course, schools are making food every day but the food wasn’t very good. Schools are typically catering to populations that have no choice in what they’re going to eat and the menus are not always desirable. Soon the dots began connecting together and the idea for Brigaid was born. Eventually, Dan left his position at Noma to pursue this new endeavor.
Dan is the essence of someone who has fixed work by trying to align himself with his values and to go out into the market and make magic happen. If you want to hear our full conversation, head over here to listen.