LANSING, Mich. — After 13 years of traveling the world as a chef, Teri Faulkner has come home to prepare meals for a different crowd of people: the patients, visitors, and staff at McLaren Greater Lansing.
“I feel very blessed to be here,” said Faulkner. “The thing about this job is you get to touch lives in a way that you don’t when people come in to your restaurant. The food we make is impacting people’s lives.”
Faulkner completed her undergraduate studies at Northern Michigan University preceding a four-year enlistment in the United States Coast Guard before completing her internship at the MSU Kellogg Center.
At the completion, she worked on special projects at MSU until she was hired as a sous chef for the Sheraton Lansing Hotel and was later promoted to executive chef. Since then, Faulkner has been traveling the world preparing food for people.
“I have always wanted to be a chef and travel,” said Faulkner. “During my enlistment in the coast guard, we traveled to many ports of call including Mexico, Milwaukee and Hawaii and more recently I have worked in Florida, Alaska and Chicago.”
When Faulkner turned 50, she promised her family she would stop traveling the world and come home. “I was ready to come home, but I wanted to find a company where I could continue to grow and so I chose to work for Compass, who services McLaren Greater Lansing.”
Faulkner has been with McLaren for just under a year and McLaren greater Lansing for the past month. However, she together with the team, are already working on many ideas to improve the culinary experience for the patients and community members who eat at the hospital, including future plans for McLaren Greater Lansing’s new $450 million hospital that is scheduled to open in early 2022 on MSU’s campus.
“Knowing that in a few years we will have a new kitchen and opportunity to change the experience for our guests is so exciting,” said Faulkner. “We will have a station approach where guests can choose from a variety of options, which will be enhanced with new tools like a pizza oven and grill. We will be able to provide a larger variety of food, including cuisines from around the world.”
While Faulkner is excited for the future, she is also working hard, together with the team, to improve patient satisfaction and overall experience in the current hospital.
“I was born and raised right here. My dad held a degree in Horticulture from MSU. Because of his support and influence, I enjoy preparing low-and-slow home-cooked meals that are both healthy and packed with flavor, and I’m excited to share that passion,” said Faulkner.
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