Meet Kern

ICC is lead by Kern Halls, the “Chief Innovator.” Kern’s experiences with Disney, retail, and military food service operations blend together in a rich background that inspires him to create innovative new menu and marketing techniques that have transformed school cafeterias around the country.

Kern’s insights are rooted in his experience

  • 20 plus years in food service
  • 8 ½ years as a Culinary Specialist in the United States Navy
  • 8 years as Senior Food & Nutrition Services manager for the 11th-largest school district in the U.S.
  • 4 years as a restaurant manager at Walt Disney World

And his efforts have been rewarded, too, with honors like the USDA Best Practice Award for Increasing Participation (2009) and the Innovation Award, Florida School Nutrition Association (2011).

Perhaps most importantly, Kern has been doing this long enough that he understands students–what drives them, what annoys them, and what they want to eat!


What clients say about Kern:

Kern Halls delivered exactly what we needed to achieve change. Having a third party consultant conduct focus groups and program analysis - with a fresh and unbiased set of eyes - is a valuable and necessary tool when building buy in from staff and administration.

Kathleen Kane SNS , Director of Food and Nutrition Services

I recommend Ingenious Culinary Concepts because Kern Halls is extremely knowledgeable in so many areas of the food service industry, from regulations to equipment, and from customers to the dining environment. He has experienced so many different school food & nutrition programs across the country that he can quickly provide suggestions to improve participation based on 'what works' in other districts. He is skilled at listening to student customers, expertly gaining their trust and inspiring them to share their perspective about school meals. We are excited about implementing suggestions that Kern made while visiting us in Charlotte County!

Terri Whitacre Director , School Food & Nutrition Services Charlotte County, Florida

Ingenious Culinary Concepts provided a turn-key Food Festival event for Dallas ISD Food and Child Nutrition Services Department. Kern and his team thought of all the details and managed the event from start to finish ­ and afterward! The event was a huge success and provided a very positive image for the district. We are continuing our partnership with Ingenious Culinary Concepts due to their professionalism and customer service.

Julie G Farris Director – Nutrition, Training, Quality Assurance Dallas Independent School District

Your general session was the perfect message and tied in with the general sessions as well, providing good customer service by marketing & merchandising. We must understand our customers and not continue to do everything the way we have always done things.

Valerie Lindsay Child Nutrition Supervisor

We had a great experience working with Ingenious Culinary Concepts. Kern Halls has a broad experience developing concepts in the K-12 market.  He and his Team were very valuable in helping us to understand the student preferences and how we can adapt our products to succeed in K-12

Beatriz Herrero – StarKist , Food Service Marketing Manager

We had the privilege of having Kern Halls present at our Education Symposium. Not only was Kern knowledgable and upbeat, he gave everyone a new and different perspective on what kids likes and wants are when it comes to meals served in school. He also conducted a Kids Focus Group that was thoroughly entertaining but highly enlightening as it came straight "from the mouths of babes" as to what they want. If you are looking for a person that knows and understands School Food Service and clearly understands K-12 Trends, Kern is the guy for your group. He brings excitement back into School Food Service!!

– Nicole Nicoloff, Education Segment Manager, Gordon Foods

This year we invited Kern Halls to present at our Manager’s in-service. He did a truly outstanding job! The information was timely, informative, and thought provoking. All of my Managers and Assistant Managers were totally engaged. It was the perfect way to start the new school year. I look forward to bringing him back to my District in the future to share more ideas and innovative concepts with my management staff!

– Dawn Houser SNS, MPA

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive for your class and the conference overall. Your extra effort to provide up-to-date answers for the participants has not been overlooked. We appreciate your dedicated spirit and your commitment to excellence and therefore, insistently welcome you back to assist us in educating the food and nutrition personnel within Region 13.

– Child Nutrition Team, Region XIII, Austin, Texas

I was out in the schools days after your workshop, the employees were still talking about how much they enjoyed it. I also observed them putting a little extra effort into serving the students. It was a pleasure to see. Thank you for the inspiration.

– Linda Irby

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