The chefs of Taher find a home at BSM

Taher daily supplies food but often students don’t know the people behind the counter.

Raul Templonuevo has been working at Taher for five years.

Sophie Ludwig, Staff Writer

Going through the lunch line each day, many students have never actually had time to get to know the staff. Often, students are too focused on getting their fries or chicken-fried steak to have time to chat with the lunchroom staff.

The main chef at Taher, Raul Templonuevo, has been working at Taher for five years but has been in the restaurant industry for 20 years. He quit due to the birth of his son. “I didn’t want to give up cooking, so I went to corporate instead,” Raul said.

Right after graduating from St. John’s, Raul began cooking, and he has enjoyed it ever since. Even after college, cooking gave Raul a chance to experience different places and destinations. “My last year and a half in college, I studied abroad and traveled to Israel for a while and France,” Raul said.

Another reason Raul made the switch from the restaurant industry to corporate was that of the demanding lifestyle of restaurant work. Raul’s corporate experience took him many different places and destinations. He worked at multiple restaurants, starting in Napa, California. He partnered with a restaurant called Biella in Excelsior, MN and had his own dinner for five years. The pressure in the restaurant industry is hard; chefs get no time off, not even holidays. “The stress level in the restaurant industry is like a 110 and, the stress here is -2,” Raul said. 

The stress level in the restaurant industry is like a 110 and, the stress here is -2,”

— Raul Temloneuvo

Another important cook at Taher is Kamika Weezy. Weezy had many other jobs before working at Taher and she describes cooking at Taher as more relaxing. “After attending culinary school, I jumped in right at here,” Weezy said. She heard about Taher from another co-worker Sherri Sweeney, who is also her aunt.

She has been working at Taher for six years and enjoys creating meals from scratch. “Feeding the students is my favorite part,” Weezy said.

Last but not least is Chef Grady. Chef Grady is the newest addition to the Taher community. He worked at an assisted living for a year before coming to BSM.“Working at assisted living compared to working at Taher is slow pace, smaller portion and as for here it’s very upbeat and fast ” Grady said. He loves the energy and providing food that enriches the students’ lives.