Meet the man beneath the toque

Abby Zuckerman, Guest Writer

Students will often forget how much time and work goes into our cafeteria and providing faculty and students with lunch everyday. Chef Mark Glauser, who recently came from Lakewood Country Club as the executive chef, is ready to take on the challenge as CESJDS’ Director of Food Services. 

Glauser found his passion for cooking and baking at age six, and ever since then, had a deep connection with food. He used his passion for the kitchen to bond with his grandmother. His mother and grandmother both came from the former Soviet Union, so Glauser’s wife and mother love to cook Russian foods. 

After graduating from high school, Glauser immigrated to Israel to attend the Israeli Army as a lone soldier. After spending three years cooking meals for fellow soldiers, Glauser decided to pursue a career in culinary arts. Glauser trained at Johnson Wales Culinary Educations and worked at several restaurants before working at the Lakewood Country Club. Although he is enjoying his new job, there are definitely challenges as well.

“With this kind of job, there are always issues or things to deal with popping up,” Glauser said.  

One of these challenges includes figuring out how much food to make each day in order to feed the whole high school without creating food waste. 

“Dealing with my waste everyday hurts my heart strings when I have to throw something away,” Glauser said. 

Despite these challenges, Glauser is so glad to be able to spend more time with his   nephew and two sons, Max and Lucas. The long hours in his previous jobs prevented Glauser from spending time with his family, so he is grateful that JDS has given him the opportunity to be home with his family more. 

Another important part of Glauser’s history is that he was diagnosed with cancer at age 32. After having been a staunch vegetarian for his whole life, Glauser began eating and cooking with meat because he craved it so much while spending an enormous amount of time in the hospital.

Additionally, Glauser is appreciative to be in an environment that allows him to take off for the Jewish holidays, allowing him to reconnect with his Jewish roots. Since he grew up in a Jewish day school, Glauser thought coming back would “help his inner Judaism come back to life.” 

“I came to JDS because of the more family friendly hours and wanted a place where I could connect to Judaism,” Glauser said. “Hearing tefillah every morning makes you feel good about being here.”