NIU worker pens food service book

By Morgan Carrigan

David Webb, an NIU food worker turned author, wrote his first book about his years behind the kitchen doors.

Webb, also known as “Captain” by his fellow cooks in Neptune Hall, has been a DeKalb resident since 1971 and has cooked for the majority of his life.

The book, titled “Behind The Swinging Doors: The Back Room of Food Service,” wwas released in February and is available on Amazon at He also sells copies himself.

NS: What inspired you to make the book?

DW: Well, you know, you sit around telling stories, and there is always someone who says, … ‘Ya know, you oughta’ make a book about this.’ So one day, I started writing it on the internet, like a blog type thing. Then I decided let me print this out, and I realized it was 60 pages. I thought to myself, this could really be a book. That’s where it started about two-and-a-half years ago. The last year I got serious about it, I thought, before I die I really got to get this done.

NS: What audience did you target when creating your book?

DW: My thought was anyone that is in any type of industry; specifically, food service. They can look at this book and go, ‘That same thing happened to me.’ I am really hoping to inspire some memories they haven’t thought of in a long time.

NS: Have you thought about creating another book?

DW: I don’t know. Right now this is what I know and what I love. I enjoy doing it but I don’t know about a sequel. We are up to the current now, but we will see.

NS: What do you want people/students to know about your book?

DW: I am just the average guy. I went to college: University of Illinois for two years. I couldn’t find anything I liked, but I always knew I loved cooking. I guess what I would like people to know is I was a kid, and my dad was not happy when I decided to leave school and go back to cooking. He commented to me, ‘You better like it because you’re going to be doing it the rest of your life.’ I’m 66 years old now, and I still like getting up every morning and going to work. I have no regrets at all. I love what I do. It’s not a get rich situation, I have had fun. I have had a good quality life.