MenuDirections 2013: Conference Download

Attendees share their favorite experiences from the event.

We asked several attendees of the 11th annual MenuDirections conference, held in March in Tampa, Fla., to share their experiences with us. Here’s what they had to say.

What was your favorite dish at the Dine-Around?

“My favorite ‘dish’ actually was the sangria at Columbia. Of course, since that doesn’t qualify as a food group I would go with their stuffed peppers. They were very good.”
—Gordon Lippe, executive chef, James A. Haley VA Hospital, Tampa, Fla.

“I enjoyed the food and atmosphere best at Columbia and I think they had a lobster croquette that I enjoyed. What I enjoyed most about the Dine-Around
was the opportunity to experience the different restaurants and Ybor City.”
—Al Caldiero, director of food & nutrition, Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, N.Y. 

What was the biggest takeaway from the conference?

“That Asian flavors are very applicable/useful and easily incorporated into traditional American cuisine for added flavor and variety.”
—Rich Burlingame, director of nutrition services, Great River Medical Center, West Burlington, Iowa

“That, as food professionals, we owe it to our clients, customers and the community to help educate, explore and experiment with healthier food options. It might be a long road, but it will definitely be shorter with the current excitement about and popularity of food.”
—Eric Barnachea, executive chef/general manager, Bon Appétit at Marvell, Santa Clara, Calif.

“The versatility and power of raisins. I enjoyed Dr. Painter and his talks, as well as the informal interactive atmosphere of the entire conference. Many times you can get lost at a conference and not really have a chance to engage others.”
—Al Caldiero 

What’s something you learned from a colleague at the conference?

“Most of the people I met were from opposite regions of the United States and from different sectors of the food industry. But it was nice to see that everyone had the same passion and integrity for quality work.”
—Eric Barnachea

“I was able to bring back the opportunity to partner with the app MyFitnessPal. We have already reached out to them and are looking at some form of collaboration.”
—Al Caldiero

“Personally I learned a lot about how other hospitals are doing their room service deliveries and how they are making it work.”
—Jill Hanscom, R.D., associate director, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, N.J. 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Compass has partnered with Jose Andres ’ ThinkFoodGroup, allowing the chef and foodservice vendor to collaborate at such venues as stadiums and college campuses.

“With this partnership, we have the opportunity to tell stories and connect with people through food on an entirely new level,” Andres said in a release.

The three-year team-up comes shortly after Andres opened a ThinkFoodLab pop-up in Washington, D.C., which will serve as a recipe R&D space for his restaurant group.

ThinkFoodGroup was this year named a Power 20 multiconcept operator by Restaurant...

Managing Your Business
dancing fruit happy

When editor Jill Failla and I sat down to discuss ideas for this month’s cover story, data from FoodService Director’s sister company Technomic was the spark that lit the flame of conversation. She told me the most recent Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report had found that consumers are more willing to order and pay more for items they think are both healthy and tasteful. My questions: OK, what does that look like in practice? How does it factor into operators’ decision-making processes? And what the heck do we call that phenomenon?

After tossing around some ideas, we had it: the...

Menu Development
chili spaghetti

Iconic local dishes like Cincinnati chili may not be entirely healthy, but they are incredibly popular. Across the country, K-12 operators are finding ways to add these foods to their lunch menus while still meeting their nutritional requirements. How are they adapting popular recipes and bringing them to schools—and is it worth it?

Cincinnati chili has been a staple of Mason City Schools lunches for as long as anyone can remember. Located just outside of Cincinnati, the school system serves its chili in two traditional ways: covering a pile of spaghetti, or atop a cheese Coney dog...

Ideas and Innovation
torch flame

There’s more than one way to open a wine bottle. When a corkscrew is nowhere to be found, David Brue—chef de cuisine and production manager for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s central production kitchen in Columbus, Ohio—reaches for his butane torch.

“I can never find a corkscrew anywhere, but for some reason, I always have a torch,” Brue says. “Heat the neck of the bottle carefully, and the cork pops right out.”

FSD Resources