Getting to know Food Service Director Jason Rosegay


Sam Westerman

Mr. Rosegay prepares vegetables to be used in sandwiches later that day

Sam Westerman, Staff Writer

Most LFHS students who enjoy the cafeteria’s food have seen him before. Depending on their meal preferences, some see him every day. But who really is “the man behind the counter?”

Where did you grow up?

Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Where did you attend school, and what did you study?

Kendall Culinary School; Culinary Arts.

Were you considering a different career path before entering the culinary world?

My father was a master mechanic, and I would work in the shop with him growing up. I was almost a mechanic and still work on cars and trucks for fun.

I’ve heard that you were a celebrity’s personal chef. Is this true? 

I worked for Jim McMahon, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Bears when he had his restaurant in Glenview. I cooked for many of the 1985 Bears players, Cindy Crawford and Tom Arnold; I know I’m forgetting a bunch. Many Bears players who lived in the area would hang out in the restaurant and bar area. 

What brought you to the director position at Lake Forest High School’s cafeteria?

I have been in a lot of locations for Quest Food Service. LFHS is the 17th account I have managed for Quest, one of the nicest accounts I have been in. The students, staff, and teachers are very nice to work with. When I first arrived, they treated me like I had been here for years.

What does the typical workday look like?

I arrive at 6 a.m., make sure we are ready for breakfast, and work with the team to get lunch ready, do corporate paperwork, cash handling, place food orders, and go home.

How are Lake Forest High School’s students different from those you’ve cooked for?

Not very different. Everyone I have cooked for wants the same thing: “Good, tasty food.” That is what my team and I try to serve every day.

What’s been your most humorous memory working at LFHS?

During my first month here, I had to do the band spaghetti dinner and the staff holiday party: two of the most significant events at the school.

When you aren’t working, what’s your favorite meal to cook?

Anything with seafood.

What would your advice be for people wanting to cook more often?

Do not be afraid of making something that doesn’t taste good or if you’re not sure it will turn out correctly. I always tell people, “The only difference between a chef and a person that likes to cook is a chef has no fear about throwing food out if it doesn’t taste good.”

What are some of your other favorite pastimes?

Musky fishing!