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Oak Leaves

September 28, 2018

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Chef is remembered by MU students for his sincerity, eagerness to connect with them and passion for cooking.

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Chef Chris Departs Chartwells; Served MU for 13 Years


Noah Tong

Chef Christopher Fogerty is departing Manchester University after 13 eventful years.

A Kokomo native, Fogerty developed a passion for cooking while employed as a chef at a senior living center in Greentown, Ind. “There was this one lady there who had special dietary needs,” he said. “I  would start cooking things on the side I knew she could eat. Her son came in to visit one day and told me, ‘You doing this for my mom is absolutely amazing.’ Why wouldn’t I? She had to live there and be able to eat like  anyone else.

“But that’s just the way I looked at it,” he continued. “It’s something that should be done. It made me  really passionate about taking care of people the best I could, when I could.”

Fogerty’s caring attitude was on display at Manchester as well. He noted that it was, as he said, “It was  difficult trying to fit everything into everyone’s individual diets.” Naturally, the desires and expectations of school food will be dramatically different as an athlete compared to a non-student athlete.

“I like to be challenged,” he explained. “Learning to make Ethiopian dishes and the different foods that come up during the International Fair and buffets was a lot of fun. I’ve had a real big bond with the Ethiopian students over the years.”

His strong connection with the international students on campus was nothing unordinary, as Fogerty was well known as being a friendly face with the entire student body.

“My favorite part of working at Manchester was, hands-down, the students,” he said with a smile. “When  I started, [MU football] coach Jensen was a student. Seeing him graduate, succeed, come back home, and start to succeed again—that was a big piece of the job for me.”

Manchester University partners with Chartwells food services to provide meal plans for students.  Chartwells is the corporate entity responsible for sending an 80/20 menu to every head chef at each  Chartwells unit. 80 percent of meals are dictated by Chartwells, while Fogerty was responsible for the other 20 percent.

“If there were days students wanted chicken patties and tater tots, I had a little room to put that in there,”  Fogerty said. “It’s up to every chef at each unit to put that creative piece in to keep things interesting and add local flair.”

Despite the personal attachment to the university, Fogerty believes it was “time for a change.”

“I felt like there wasn’t much room for improvement,” he continued after a long pause. “I didn’t feel I could make the program any better anymore. I wanted to leave on a high note. I’m going to miss everyone  involved. Students, faculty, staff; I’ll miss everyone.”

Fogerty, once named 2014 National Chef of the Year, will start cooking at the Peabody Retirement  Community in North Manchester hoping, as he said, “to throw some shenanigans into their program and help their chef over there.” Hopeful for the future, Fogerty sees the next chapter of his life as an exciting one.

“Other than cooking at Peabody, I’m relaxing for a minute,” he said. “It’s nice. I had to create and help do everything for so long. Now it’s a brand-new ballgame.”

Fogerty is supported in his decision by his wife Michelle, his oldest daughter Allyson, and his two sons, Logan and Bailey. They also have a basset hound named Flash and a cat named Lucy.