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

Industry News & Opinion

This semester, the East Quad dining team at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is taking steps to offer more authentic global cuisine , Michigan Daily reports.

The team has partnered with the Office of Student Life to start a conversation with students on how best to create and serve Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. Additionally, the university invited chefs from Japan and India to campus to help its chefs create more authentic recipes.

The school’s push for more accurate global cuisine was partially inspired by an international food event that got cancelled...

Industry News & Opinion
Madison food truck

The Madison Metropolitan School District in Madison, Wis., has partnered with a local organization to debut a food truck that will serve healthy, locally sourced lunch options for Madison high school students, according to The Capital Times .

The truck, which was donated by the Emmi Roth Cheese Co., will visit four high schools Tuesday through Friday, spending a day at each campus. Students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch can use the food truck as they would the school cafeteria for no-cost or discounted meals.

Members of MMSD and partner organization REAP Food...

Industry News & Opinion

Identifying prospective employees may be less challenging for foodservice operators than getting would-be recruits to complete the hiring process , according to a new study of why job applicants bail.

The report shows that nearly three out of fours applicants (74%) will drop their effort to be hired if they suspect management is racist, and two out of three (62%) will flee if they learn of sexual harassment allegations. Roughly the same proportion (65%) will halt their pursuit if they encounter indications of a gender gap in pay.

About half (45%) of candidates won’t show...

Menu Development
zoodles

Here’s how two operations are spotlighting produce this season.

Oodles of zoodles

Binghamton University underscored its growing focus on plant-based options with a recent zoodle pop-up on campus. The pop-up, which served vegetable noodle bowls in vegan and vegetarian varieties, sold out of the dishes in four hours. The Binghamton, N.Y., school aims to add zoodles to its regular menu in the fall.

A buffet boost

The dining team at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, recently re-evaluated its buffet offerings with an eye toward adding healthy options. It updated the fruit and...

FSD Resources