MenuDirections Conference

Satisfying a more educated customer

MenuDirections provides non-commercial foodservice operators two and a half days of educational workshops, culinary demos and keynote presentations led by industry experts, plus tastings and the renowned Dine-Around.

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chefs council menu directions
FoodService Director’s Chefs’ Council shared valuable insights at MenuDirections 2016. Here are six ideas to steal from the five panelists.
From unconventional spins on vegetables to new ways to deliver customization, these are the ideas we will long remember from this year's culinary conference...
healthy breakfast oatmeal fruit
The workshops and general sessions at MenuDirections, FoodService Director's annual conference, provided innovative ideas to add healthful concepts to the menu and noncommercial dining spaces. ...
chefs council
Here are the new culinary terms overheard at MenuDirections from directors shaping the future of menus.
Noncommercial foodservice honored its best this week at MenuDirections, Foodservice Director’s annual conference on culinary trends. Here's a recap...
menudirections chef gavagan
FoodService Director's conference reaffirmed that FSDs have tiny budgets, big brains and huge hearts...
sara gasiorowski
The Indiana foodservice director was honored at MenuDirections for her food security efforts.
menudirections conference book
FoodService Director’s annual immersion in culinary trends, the MenuDirections conference, opened Sunday with a look at delivering health, sustainability and excitement. Here are some of the...
If you’ve been to MenuDirections, you’ll notice a number of changes at the event, taking place Feb. 28–March 1 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.
fsd-2014-lisa-poggas
From barbecue and beans to mushrooms and tapas, there was a lot of food—and food for thought—passed around at the 13th annual MenuDirections conference.

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More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
three sisters salad

“Everyone is doing Thai in college dining,” says Patrick McElroy, campus executive chef for Bon Appetit at Washington University in St. Louis. So he set out to “push the envelope” on ethnic cuisine and offer Native American dishes—a move that had support from the American Indian Student Association. But McElroy didn’t realize the challenge ahead. “I wanted to maintain the integrity and tradition of the food, but there were very few recipes,” he says. “I had to do a lot of research.” To develop the menu, he enlisted the help of chef Nephi Craig, founder of the Native American Culinary...

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.”

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