Cuisine 'Smashing' & Other Lessons from MenuDirections Day 2

A full day of education sessions and sampling yields some aha moments

By 
Peter Romeo, Director of Digital Content

No longer a MenuDirections newbie, I was able to work the comprehensive education program more aggressively today, jumping from chef demos to flavor forecasts while sampling recipes developed with both health and flavor in mind. Here’s some of the more delectable brainfood that was served up:

--Fusion is the dainty way of blending ethnic cuisines. The new, bolder method is called “smashing,” according to Chef Andrew Hunter. He cites the approach of Kogi Truck creator Roy Choi, whose Korean tacos have fostered a cult following on the West Coast.

“When you smash things, you try to create layers, so when you bite into them, they come together,” Hunter said. And that’s exactly what Choi does, he explained: Tortillas are layered with sauces and meat.

“Chef Roy is less interested in weaving a harmonious flavor and more into having you taste the individual flavors by pushing them all together,” said Hunter.

--Chocolate is a health food. But it’s typically adulterated with sugar and processed in a way that strips out the healthful components.

--You have to smash or chop garlic to release its considerable health properties. The beneficial aspects are in the aromatics. Roasting it without breaking the surface of the cloves won’t release the health-boosting compounds.

--Youngsters may be suffering taco fatigue, or at least a tendency to yawn when a traditional taco bar is presented to them. To rekindle interest, foodservice directors are trying variations like fish and Indian-style tacos.

By Peter Romeo, Director of Digital Content
View More Articles By Peter Romeo

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Mushroom Council blended burgers

From The James Beard Foundation.

At the same time the James Beard Foundation announced the first annual Blended Burger Project™ Campus Edition, they concluded the third annual Blended Burger Project™ with a bang!

The Blended Burger Project™ contest concluded with 414 restaurants* in 45 states participating, and more than 400,000 consumer votes. Over the last nine weeks, the competition created a buzz on social media with more than 4,700 unique posts on Instagram and Twitter using the #BlendedBurgerProject hashtag.

“The Blended Burger Project™ is a phenomenal...

Ideas and Innovation
moving boxes

Because we have 39 locations throughout the state, employees are offered a transfer if they’re planning a move. They’re rehired by the company, but there’s no additional training needed and employees are ready to go on Day 1.

Ideas and Innovation
staff pack

To keep staff motivated, we locked them in a room together. As part of a midsemester training session, we formed work groups and sent them to a local Escape Room to see which team could play the game together most effectively and escape first. Not only was this training a great team-building experience, but it supported a local new business and gave our staff a memorable experience.

Ideas and Innovation
star employee

Senior leadership meets twice a year to do organizational talent planning for every position from the top down. We talk about who are the potential high-performers, and go through how they can grow. People are your differentiator—you need to take care of your assets, and your assets are your human resources.

FSD Resources