MEAT STEPS TO THE SIDELINES IN OUR ANNUAL MENU TRENDS FORECAST. P. 46
VOLUM E 30 / NUMBE R 10 OCTOBE R 2017
FOODSERVICE OPERATION OF THE MONTH
Rutgers University New Brunswick, N.J. P. 64
PUSH CHEFS OUTSIDE THEIR COMFORT ZONES
HOW TO GET A POP-UP OFF THE GROUND
2017 SENIOR LIVING/LTC CENSUS: IT’S SNACK TIME P. 59
By Patricia Cobe Photography by Clint Blowers Food styling by Lisa Benitez Kuehl
WHAT’S POWERING THE PLATE? VEGETABLES AND GRAINS RISE TO THE TOP IN FSD’S 2017 CHEFS’ COUNCIL MENU TRENDS SURVEY.
lants are no longer moving to the center of the plate; they’re firmly rooted to the spot. That was just one of the many findings revealed in FoodService Director’s third annual Chefs’ Council Menu Trends Survey, a deep dive into noncommercial menu development to see what direction it will take in the year ahead. In 2016, global street foods emerged as a top trend among our 50 Chefs’ Council members, a collection of culinarians representing core segments of the noncommercial industry. While portable, authentic ethnic foods are still trending, chefs are increasingly tapping into local and regional ingredients, too. As major shifts take place with breakfast, beverages and snacks, industrywide issues like labor shortages and food waste also are changing up menus. To help stay ahead of the trends as 2018 menu planning ramps up, check out what the FSD Chefs’ Council has to say about what may be gaining ground—and what is losing favor.
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PLANTS GROW AT BREAKFAST
ruit is the traditional produce pick for breakfast, but operators are increasingly turning to vegetables for morning plant power. Here again, Asian and other global cuisines are infusing breakfast fare with fresh flavor. Breakfast bowls based on beans and leaner proteins. —Matthew Cervay, Geisinger Health
Chapati with jam and pickles. —Carrie Anderson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
nimal proteins seem to be taking a backseat, at least for a while, as Chefs’ Council members focus on developing veg-centric dishes. And increasingly, these aren’t just being served at separate vegan or vegetarian stations. Instead, chefs are incorporating a greater variety and volume of grains and vegetables all over the menu, providing more opportunities for customers to put together plant-based meals. We introduced a miso noodle bowl bar and vegan grain bowls at a chefmanned station to offer customized plant-based dishes. The grain bowl consists of quinoa, farro and cauliflower fried rice,
with assorted toppings including tofu, chickpeas, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, edamame and nori. We’ve seen increasing take rates for plant-based dishes over the past four years—from 10% to 15% in 2013, to 35% in spring 2017. —Chris Studtmann, Northwestern University
Our slogan is “one meal a day for the planet,” to encourage our students to eat a plantbased meal at least once a day. It has been much better received because it’s an easily accomplished goal that can have positive effects on the environment and health. Two successful new items are a tofu sushi rice bowl and veggie fajita tacos. —Kayla Webb, The Muse School
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Emily’s Garden is our new vegetarian/ plant-forward station. Two of the most popular and out-ofthe-box items we introduced are a roasted beet taco with poblanos, jicama slaw and chimichurri, and crispy radish fritters with avocado yogurt and basil dipping sauce. —Mark Miller, Skidmore College
We did plantbased training with the Humane Society last spring and will be implementing those recipes in our Chef ’s Table demonstration area every Monday this fall. So far, it’s been very successful. —Greg Gefroh, University of North Dakota
Quinoa-arugula salad is greatly loved by all [in our senior living dining room]. It emphasizes whole grains and healthy, raw ingredients. —Jeff Muldrow, Mather Lifeways
Ethnic-inspired grain bowls we’re calling Earth Bowls are a new focus. They’re filled with vegetables and ancient grains, with a little hot protein as an accompaniment. —Jonathan Smith, TouchPoint
We’re developing a plantbased section for our catering menu. Culinary training with the Humane Society sparked our creativity. —Frank Turchan, University of Michigan
Ethnic breakfast bowls, like congee and soba, as well as potato bowls. —Chris Studtmann, Northwestern University
Replacing light cream cheese with hummus and adding sliced tomato and cucumber [for bagel and toast spreads]. —Frank Turchan, University of Michigan
Second breakfasts, known as Brunch for Lunch. Some residents prefer to have a light breakfast in the early morning, then come down for a later brunch. —Vincent Antonelli, Florida Blue
More grains at breakfast, including amaranth and quinoa. —Aran Essig, Northern Colorado University
Using alternative proteins for breakfast sandwiches, such as smoked pork loin and turkey. —Jonathan Smith, TouchPoint
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ASIAN CUISINES ON THE RISE
s FSD reported in our 2016 Chefs’ Council Survey, global flavors and ethnic dishes are menu must-haves in every segment. But this year, Asian eclipsed Latin and Mediterranean as a focus in menu development. Asian-style noodle bowls, with their adaptability to customization, are on the upswing, and Indian cuisine, with its emphasis on plant-based preparations, received a lot of attention. Korean and Japanese ingredients are also showing up in more preparations. We offer vegetable tikka masala that hits three trends: more ethnic choices [in the form of Indian cuisine], bold flavors and sustainability. We often use our own farm-grown tomatoes to execute this dish. The students appreciate our efforts to become more plant-forward with our menu items. —Adam Smith, North Carolina State University
Spice Market is a new action station where we serve authentic Indian flavors.
the Microsoft campus. It features an authentic rotating menu of Indian favorites, including thali plates and chaat (Indian street food). —Craig Tarrant, Microsoft
Sauteed udon noodle bowls are a big hit this year. We use a lot of seasonal fresh vegetables and strive for authenticity. —JP Krause, Children’s Hospital Colorado
—Vincent Antonelli, Florida Blue
Himalaya Indian Comfort Food is a new concept at Cafe 36 on 50 foodservicedirector.com October 2017
We are looking to add to our Asian cuisine
offerings, including pho and bun cha from Vietnam and bibimbap from South Korea. —Mark Augustine, Minneapolis Public Schools
We’ve been developing items that incorporate Asian flavors with mainstream ingredients. These include carved Korean marinated flank steak with fresh kimchi, togarashi seared tilapia with Thai peanut sauce and a chicken tinga street taco. —Bill Laychur, Pennsylvania State University
Build-your-own Korean bowls are a popular new option.
Guests have the choice of hot and sweet peppers, mushrooms, jalapenos, peas and Korean barbecue beef or sesame chicken. Then they load up on noodles and ramen broth. —Jennifer Leamons, Carolina Health
We created 18 varieties of simple four- to six-ingredient grain and legume salads that focus on healthier options, bursting with bright flavors of citrus and fresh herbs. —Matthew Cervay, Geisinger Health
What trends are you embracing when developing new menu items?
62% 52% 50% 40% 33% Ethnic or regional
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SNACKS GET MEATIER
Snacks are growing as a menu category in most operations, as diners seek increased flexibility in when and how they eat. With plants moving to the center of the plate for larger meals, many operators are creating snacks that pack a little more protein. Smaller portions of meat, cheese and other dairy products, sometimes paired with veggies, fruits and grains, are feeding the snacking frenzy.
Trail mix packed with protein ingredients. —John Andrews, Ohio Living
Aged cheddar and sweet-salty fruit-and-nut blend; Greek yogurt-based dips. —Janna Traver, University of Kansas
Pepperoni and cheese cubes; yogurt parfaits in smaller portions. —Jennifer Leamons, Carolina Health
Well-balanced snacks like fruit and cheese, peanut butter and apples and avocado toast. —Jonathan Smith, TouchPoint
Seven-layer Greek dip with fresh veggies and pita chips and fruit skewers with gingerlemongrass glaze. —Darla Mehrkens, Carilion Clinic
Protein skewers. —Iraj Fernando, Southern Foodservice
Protein boxes added to our grab-and-go section, with either tuna or egg salad served with crackers, and grapes paired with cheese. —Roy Sullivan, UCSF Medical Center
Snacks that tout local flavors are also a customer draw. At the Indianapolis Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, both managed by Centerplate, Director of Catering Anthonie Lardiere sets up gourmet snack stations featuring one of Indiana’s key agricultural products: popcorn.
Sugary beverages are on the way out in noncommercial foodservice, if our Chefs’ Council has anything to say about it. They’re moving away from sweetened carbonated soft drinks to what they consider healthier drinks and setting up hydration bars, taps dispensing juices and water, and using local ingredients. Removal of all sugary beverages
is our goal. In their place are fresh agua frescas made with herbs and fruits. —Adam Strauss, New York Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital
At our venues, we’re making our own infused waters, often with seasonal ingredients such as fresh peach with rosemary and fresh blueberries with mint.
Adding flavored waters and juices to the soda fountain taps. —Stephen Plescha, Pennswood Village
Kombucha and spa waters were recently added to the beverage lineup.
Replacing sodas with herb and fruit-infused teas, lemonades and waters.
We added locally roasted coffee. It has a great following and is differentiating our coffee program.
—Kerry Patterson, Oregon State University
—Darla Mehrkens, Carilion Clinic
—Bill Claypool, Vanderbilt University
—Anthonie Lardiere, Centerplate
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Which of the following factors are most affecting menu development and food preparation?
43% Food safety
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A LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE
Food waste and labor shortages are two issues that Chefs’ Council members predict will play a big part in 2018 menu development. Eighty percent have ramped up efforts to reduce food waste, and 10% plan to do so in the near future. And the majority of respondents are adjusting the menu to accommodate a smaller staff and less skilled workers. One chef bluntly stated: “The skill set of hourly cooks in general has gone down dramatically in the past few years. I’ve seen a drastic decrease in qualified applications in the past year alone.” These are their strategies for dealing with these challenges.
ZERO-WASTE SOLUTIONS We’re testing a Salad Bar Happy Hour in a few of our cafes. We put the salad bar “on sale” for 25 cents a pound after the lunchtime rush to encourage consumption and discourage waste. —Craig Tarrant, Microsoft
We started a campaign called “taste it, don’t waste it,” allowing students to sample something before taking it. We also partner with a student group to deliver unused food to a soup kitchen three times a week. —Mark Miller, Skidmore College
Coaching team members to batch cook and be alert of items going to the garbage to overall reduce waste consistently. —Cameron Clegg, Parkhurst Dining
We have really focused on forecasting our prep and following standardized recipes. —Drew Patterson, Wexner Medical Center
We purchased a pulper and are looking at separating food waste completely. —Dewey McMurrey, Texas Tech University
A focus on utilizing the whole plant/ animal (root-to-stalk; nose-to-tail). —Rocky Dunnam, Bivins Foundation
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We are sourcing more universally applicable ingredients, allowing us to use leftover items in other applications rather than throwing them away. —Kevin Frank, Detroit Public Schools
Guests choose only one entree at a time in our all-you-care-to-eat environment. Student volunteers pick up leftover food and distribute it to local shelters and community kitchens. —Aran Essig, Northern Colorado University
We switched to a buffetstyle service instead of family-style and started fine-tuning portioning during food preparation. —Kayla Webb, The Muse School
We teach our student body to only take what they will actually eat. At the salad bar, we are using smaller containers, then refilling them if necessary between lunch periods to reduce waste. —Stephanie Dyehouse, Cincinnati Public Schools
We collect all our trim and waste in clear buckets and log it before we trash it. This helps staff see what we are wasting and over-trimming/ overproducing. —Vincent Antonelli, Florida Blue
Keeping all veggie scraps and combining them with beef bones and chicken bones to make stocks. We’re also saving all bread to make breadings. —Ben Staples, Cuyahoga
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TACKLING THE LABOR PROBLEM Sometimes the volume and time it takes to create an entree or dessert means I have to “dumb” it down. —Stephen Plescha, Pennwood Village
Being a school in a booming city, we’re not attracting the same talent that we had access to in the past. As our labor pool diminishes, we have to evaluate how we can execute things and take that into consideration when placing items on the menu. —Bill Claypool, Vanderbilt University
Labor has a great impact to what we can offer. This is why we focus on more customizable bars
and recipes that play to the culinary skills of the team. To keep us moving forward, we run an annual Culinary Training and Development Program that includes everyone from the first-time cook up to the executive chef. The program includes onboarding training, monthly skills training, summertime expanded culinary technique classes, culinary competitions, internal and external continuing education hour opportunities, and ACF certification. —Chris Studtmann, Northwestern University
Nothing we are doing is too complicated, but it does require a great deal of chopping and cutting fresh ingredients, so I rely on a staff that can work quickly and multitask to stay on track. —Kayla Webb, The Muse School
As labor expenditures have decreased across the board, we must do the same job or more with fewer workers, and sous vide pork and beef helps us ease the labor crunch. We don’t use any raw meats, but value-added sous vide products give us the flexibility to create any flavor profile we choose by simply changing seasonings. —Stephanie Dyehouse, Cincinnati Public Schools
We’re looking at adding in some premade sauces and meats at times to keep labor cost down. —JP Krause, Children’s Hospital Colorado
We like to keep our culinary team engaged in the process. We get their input at cooks meetings and ask them to attend resident council meetings. Our chefs train the cooks on all new items before they are put on the menu,
and they take part in a special pre-rollout of the menu before introducing it to residents. This is also a training opportunity for the service staff.
ON THE OUTS
Here are the trends our Chefs’ Council members wish would go away in 2018.
—John Andrews, Ohio Living
Skill set weighs very heavily on what I can do with my menu. We have very few kitchen-trained staff. —David Leach, University of Wisconsin at Stout
A refined skill set is not as important as food safety knowledge and a positive attitude. We can train the individual to safely perform the tasks needed. —Brent Trudeau, Cypress Fairbanks ISD
Skill set has a huge impact and is the main reason for us to currently be developing a year-round training program—not only for culinary, but for all aspects of operating a cook-from-scratch kitchen. —Mark Augustine, Minneapolis Public Schools
KALE GLUTEN-FREE SRIRACHA
CHIPOTLE MICROGREENS ON EVERYTHING SOUS VIDE COOKING AVERSION TO BREAD HEALTHY DESSERTS VEGAN DIETS LIES ABOUT LOCAL SOURCING/ORGANIC FOOD FAST FOOD
CUPCAKES PUMPKIN SPICE FAT-FREE OR LOW-FAT MEATLESS MONDAYS BREAD CONES RIGID CHILD NUTRITION GUIDELINES
A fresh face for FSD’s Chefs’ Council FoodService Director is pleased to welcome some new members to its Chefs’ Council, a panel of chefs from C&U, B&I, hospitals, senior living and K-12 (Check out the updated lineup at FoodServiceDirector.com). On a rotating basis, these experts answer questions about food trends and ideas. And in October, FSD will host a dozen Chefs’ Council members at our first Chefs’ Council Summit at the University of Michigan, sponsored by Avocados From Mexico and Land O’Lakes. Look out for highlights in the pages of FSD in the coming months. Sponsored by Avocados From Mexico and Land O’Lakes
BACON ON EVERYTHING CAJUN DOUGHNUTS WITH OVER-THE-TOP TOPPINGS
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