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

Menu Development
eggs

Loyola University Maryland took a new approach to all-day breakfast with an egg-focused concept.

Breakfast options were top of mind for students when asked what they would like to see on the menu at the university’s revamped Boulder Garden Cafe. Instead of creating an all-day breakfast station, however, the Baltimore-based dining team went beyond traditional options and created a concept that services all mealparts with eggs.

“It can be somewhat mundane,” says Executive Chef Don Crowther on why the team strayed away from the trendy all-day breakfast. At the eatery’s Sunny...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Kansas has added a retail pass that allows students to purchase one to-go combo meal per day at cafes and markets on campus, the University Daily Kansan reports.

The pass is available on two different meal plans and is geared toward on-the-go students who don’t have the time to sit down and eat at a residence hall.

“It has increased the participation rate,” Jamie Reed, a service assistant for the school’s dining services, told the University Daily Kansan.

Over 1,800 students have used the pass since its debut at the beginning of the semester....

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Minnesota dining team has created a vegan student group in an effort to improve the school’s vegan offerings, Minnesota Daily reports.

The group was created by the school’s foodservice vendor, Aramark, and its campus sustainability coordinator, who is vegan, after receiving numerous complaints from students about the lack of vegan options on campus.

The group will this week host its first meeting, during which members will be able to share feedback and provide solutions to help enhance the school’s vegan offerings. Members will also keep a photo journal...

Industry News & Opinion

Panera Bread Co. announced today that it intends to buy the Au Bon Pain brand as a way of opening more bakery-cafes in colleges, healthcare facilities, office buildings, travel centers and malls.

Au Bon Pain, which was Panera’s sole business under an earlier incarnation of the company, consists of 304 bakery-cafes. Several units are located in noncommercial venues.

Panera owns or holds the franchise rights to about 2,050 restaurants, few of which are located outside of strip malls.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Immediately after the deal was...

FSD Resources