MenuDirections 2012: Cooking With Herbs

The speakers for this culinary workshop honed their presentation skills teaching healthy cooking classes to Manchester, N.H., residents.

Stanislaw and Mills teaching a Cook Better, Live Better class.

As part of the Culinary Workshop series “Cooking Healthy,” at MenuDirections 2012, Marilyn Mills, R.D., and Joe Stanislaw will present on the topic “Cooking with Herbs.” The two were a natural fit for this workshop because they have conducted similar classes for residents in the Manchester, N.H., area.

Stanislaw, who until last month was the foodservice director at 296-bed Elliot Hospital, and Mills, a clinical dietitian at Elliot, created the “Cook Better, Live Better” series in 2006 in response to a request from a group of local senior citizens. (Stanislaw, a member of the FoodService Director advisory board, is now the corporate director of dining services for Whittier Health in Massachusetts.)

“The seniors wanted to know if we could put together a class where we could teach them to cook healthy meals in single portions,” Stanislaw says. He and Mills got together with Steve Ward, Elliot’s executive chef, to develop a series of three classes. Students pay $15 for the series.

“This is a culinary/nutrition class for the community in order to show how scratch cooking can be fun and healthy,” Stanislaw adds. “It can be modified to fit any demographic group or need. We have brought the program to middle schools, the high school, hospital staff and senior.”

The first class consists of a discussion about food, nutrition and portion sizing. The second class involves a tour of a local supermarket, during which the students learn to shop for items based on a proposed menu. In the third session, Elliot foodservice staff prepare menu items for the class so they can taste them and see how they were prepared.

“We had a lot of fun with it,” says Stanislaw. “There is a lot of joy from watching people learn about fresh food. When they see what we are doing they realize that they can do it too.”

Marilyn Mills says it was easy to adapt the Elliot presentation for MenuDirections because “cooking with herbs is an important element of making meals healthier.”

MenuDirections 2012 takes place Feb. 26-28 at the Charleston Marriott, Charleston, S.C. Cooking With Herbs will be staged twice Tuesday morning of the conference, in conjunction with Seafood on the Menu and Making Gluten Free Healthy.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
sauces

Adding an entirely new cuisine to the menu can feel daunting. But what if you could dabble in international flavors simply by introducing a few new condiments? For inspiration, FSD talked to operators who are offering a range of condiments plucked from global regional cuisines.

“Most ethnic cuisines have some sort of sauce or condiment relishes that go with their dishes,” says Roy Sullivan, executive chef with Nutrition & Food Services at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. Condiments offered to diners at UCSF Medical include chimichurri (Argentina), curry (India), tzatziki (...

Ideas and Innovation
turnip juice brine

Give leftover brine new life by adding it to vegetables. In an interview with Food52, Stuart Brioza, chef and owner of State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, says that he adds a splash of leftover brine while sauteeing mushrooms to increase their flavor profile. “We like to ferment turnips at the restaurant, and it’s a great way to use that brine—though dill pickle brine would work just as well,” he says.

Menu Development
side dishes

Operators looking to increase sales of side dishes may want to focus on freshness and value. Here’s what attributes consumers say are important when picking sides.

Fresh - 73% Offered at a fair price - 72% Satisfies a craving - 64% Premium ingredients - 56% Natural ingredients - 49% Signature side - 47% Something familiar - 46% Housemade/made from scratch - 44% Something new/unique - 42% Large portion size - 42% Healthfulness - 40% Family-size - 40%

Source: Technomic’s 2017 Starters, Small Plates and Sides Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

Ideas and Innovation
earth

When putting together our surveys, FoodService Director’s editors tend to ask operators about big trends that we’re seeing throughout the industry. For the November "Besties" issue , we asked readers to share the best ways they’re menuing things like plant-based dishes, trending international cuisines and creative DIY options.

Great responses flooded in from across the country, and it was tough to narrow down which would make it into the cover story. A few even came in after the piece was finished. Laura Thompson, resident district manager for Aramark at James Madison University,...

FSD Resources