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

--One of the advantages of Mediterranean food for a high-volume feeding operation is its serving temperature and long hold times. “Most things are served ambient or chilled, or right from the grill,” noted chef Marion Gibson. So it can be easily offered in a weigh-and-pay set-up like a salad bar, or in a pick-three, fill-your-plate format.

--Breakfast, a source of sales growth for many foodservice operators, will likely morph into multiple feeding occasions as millennials age. Gibson said her company, Aramark-owned Lifeworks, has already identified three sub-dayparts that address the youngster’s consumption habits.

There’s early morning quick-snacking, where the harried young adults grab something on the run; the traditional, more leisurely traditional breakfast; and a mid-morning larger snack, where the eater has been on the job for awhile and wants to take a break.

--Google tries to put enough food options within its offices to have employees no farther than 500 feet from something to munch.

--If your food is cute, like a baby carrot or a smaller celery ticket, “you can get more money for it,” Gibson noted during her MenuDirections session on Mediterranean small plates.

--Beans, contrary to their bad rap, decrease rather than foster gas. “That’s been proven,” reported Erik Henry of Bush Brothers, a major bean supplier.

--Coca-Cola owns a coconut water company; PepsiCo owns a coconut water company; and, perhaps most intriguing of all, Madonna owns a coconut water company. There was no assessment offered of Lady Gaga’s interest in the product, which is currently soaring in popularity.

--There’s no scientific reason for physician’s relative silence on the health benefits of eating psyllium seeds and oat bran, according to celebrated nutrition expert James Painter, MenuDirections’ keynote speaker. The data proves that those forms of fiber could have a significant effect on well-being.

By Peter Romeo, Director of Digital Content
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