published Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Working It: Chef enjoys teamwork among Greenlife crew

Greenlife Grocery prepared food team leader Charlie Loomis, left, cuts broccoli as Mauriska Munroe watches and listen to the demonstration at the Hamilton County school district's first food tasting even at Hardy Elementary. School.
Staff File Photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Greenlife Grocery prepared food team leader Charlie Loomis, left, cuts broccoli as Mauriska Munroe watches and listen to the demonstration at the Hamilton County school district's first food tasting even at Hardy Elementary. School. Staff File Photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Name: Charles Loomis

Position: Executive chef

Location: Greenlife Grocery

First job: Bread baker

Best part of the job: “The people I work with. We have an amazing crew right now. All the people I work with make my job so much easier, and it wasn’t always like that. We’ve got this big huge puzzle we’re all working on, but I’m not having to orchestrate the pieces going into place. They all take the initiative and make things happen, so I’m able to do all the other projects. Instead of constantly putting out fires, we’ve got a great foundation, and we’re able to support each other and build up what we already have. I like developing newer team members, setting up a cutting board next to them and getting to know them.”

Worst part of the job: “Paperwork. I have a ton. Everything — getting the bills paid, making sure our invoices are running in a timely fashion. Pretty much any time I’m sitting at the computer, I’m not enjoying my job. I like working with the team and I like talking to customers. And I love cooking.”

What he likes to cook: Braised Sequatchie Cove beef shank in tomato gravy over ravioli, carrot cashew croquettes, sesame kale, spicy garbanzo salad, pimento cheese.

Biggest challenge: “There’s a lot of moving parts here. I have everything from the deli to the sushi, pizza, soups, plus everything in the kitchen. I’ve got ordering and mistakes that get made. The toughest thing is just the juggling and prioritizing.”

What he’s learned: “Looking at the big picture. I look at my job as the whole store, not just my department. I do that outside of work as well. There’s a lot of stuff I do outside of here — volunteer work or spending time with my family. It’s not just go home, go to work. I look at my priorities.”

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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riverstronghold said...

Charlie Loomis's love for food and creative creations have fed the first family -- his skills as a chef and his helpfulness as a human being are gifts for the local community. Chuck Pruett knew what he was doing when he put Charlie in charge!

May 20, 2011 at 10:34 a.m.
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