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Darden for Life | Lenford Patterson of Olive Garden

February 03, 2017

By: Darden Restaurants, Editor

Darden for Life | Lenford Patterson of Olive Garden

Lenford Patterson, a culinary professional at Darden for 32 years, has an impressive garden at home.

Photo Credit: Olive Garden

Q. How long have you been with Darden, and what do you like best about your job? 

A. I’ve been with Darden 32 years. I worked at Red Lobster 29 years, moved to Bahama Breeze for 18 months and have been at the Olive Garden restaurant in Boynton Beach, FL, the rest of the time. I’m a culinary professional who began as a dishwasher. Over the years, I have worked every position in the kitchen. I am passionate about my job and enjoy working with people. Teamwork is really important, especially in the kitchen. That’s why it’s called the heart of the house.

Q. Would you recommend Olive Garden as a good employer to your friends and family?

A. Yes, because you can grow at Olive Garden. I’m proud to work for a company that helps you achieve your dreams and provides a listening ear. If I have a problem, I can go to a manager or to my director of operations and feel comfortable doing so. I’ll always have a future here.

Q. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

A. I’m a gardener, and I share whatever I grow with my team members at Olive Garden. I grow bananas, plantains, cabbage, coconuts, sugar cane, tomatoes, spinach, avocados and mangoes. I’m from Jamaica, so I like island crops.

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