MenuDirections 2013 Day 3: World Cuisines and Menu Trends

The final day of the conference featured tastes from around the globe and a look at upcoming menu trends.

Fernando Acuna, director of food and nutrition, volunteer services and valet services at Oklahoma Heart Hospital in Oklahoma City, won the sixth annual Steal This Idea contest, sponsored by Simplot. Acuna won an iPad mini. See Acuna’s idea below.

The most difficult time for any family in a hospital is waiting for a loved one to inevitably pass. Keeping this in mind, we provide comfort carts. We deliver breakfast, lunch and dinner to the patient’s room. The family can focus on being with their loved one without worrying about leaving for meals. Caring for the patient’s family at this time is an important expression and a huge success for our organization. We extend compassion and caring beyond the typical hospital setting, and the families are deeply appreciative.

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Industry News & Opinion

The University of New Mexico’s proposed on-campus taproom has officially been approved by the school’s Board of Regents.

Construction on the $650,000 student union taproom will begin this summer and is expected to finish in August when students return to campus. The school’s food vendor, Chartwells, and UNM’s Dining & Food Services department will split the cost of the taproom evenly.

Designed by students in the school’s architecture department, the space will feature a rotating selection of beer and wine, and will also welcome guest brewers. Chartwells will be...

Ideas and Innovation
cafeteria

Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

Building...
Ideas and Innovation
hydroponics

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

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