“I know for a fact that when customers see Kamber is working their event, they are immediately put at ease with the understanding that everything will be taken care of,” says Grace Everett, director of catering sales for NUCuisine, “That innate ability to assure others that all will be well is priceless.”
Kamber Hadzic, who was born and raised in Bosnia before arriving in Chicago, acts as the current catering operations supervisor for NUCuisine Catering. Upon sitting down with Kamber in the kitchen of the Norris Center, it is almost immediately obvious that he possesses an unwavering work ethic. This, along with his positive outlook and passion for stellar customer service, has resulted in an extensive and valued career with NUCuisine. On the heels of his 20th anniversary with NUCuisine he took a few minutes out of his hectic schedule to chat with us about his experiences at Northwestern.
Have you always been interested in cooking and/or the food industry?
K: “I was interested when I was a very small guy, when I lived in Bosnia. I loved cooking. My mother showed me her ways. I went to a different school in Europe, though not cooking school, but when I got to America, I found cooking to be more and more interesting. When I got here I was watching chefs, they were all so good. They showed me all the tricks and everything I needed to know.”
What is your favorite dish to cook?
K: “I like cooking European food a lot. Beans, cabbage, and chicken are really popular in Europe, as well as salads. Rice and moussaka are a lot of fun too.”
After living in Bosnia, what drove you to come to the United States?
K: “I came here in 1993, I basically came as a refugee. I didn’t speak any English at all. After going to school to learn English, I came to Northwestern where I started at Sargent Hall. There I started making creations at the salad bar. After that, they asked me if I wanted to move into catering. I knew I was ready for that challenge, so a few months later I joined the catering team and haven’t looked back.
What does a typical day look like in the catering business?
K: “We’re always getting to do different things because we’re always having new events and new customers. It involved a lot of prepping and a lot of set up, both in house and at the event. There’s a lot of drop offs and pick-ups for events, lots of logistics. We have a truck and van where we transport our food. We have to make our customers happy, so everything must go right.
That sounds challenging, how do you manage to stay upbeat all the time?
K: “It’s very challenging sometimes, I like to serve people though, I like to see my customers happy. When I see their faces and I know they’re happy, I become even happier than they are. This job is something in my heart, I work with people to make them happy, that’s it. It’s important to satisfy everyone and give them more and more each day, 150%, every day.
What do you like about working at Northwestern?
K: “It’s a beautiful college and beautiful campus. My managers and my team are great and I absolutely love it here. I hope to make a retirement plan here, it’s been good.
Article by: Maya Voelk, Sophomore, Medill School of Journalism and Integrated Marketing