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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Menu Development
muse school produce

Kayla Webb, executive chef at Muse School, has transitioned the private K-12 day school in Calabasas, Calif., to an entirely vegan menu over a three-year period. Webb talks about her menuing, and how the school’s kitchen earned the title of “greenest restaurant in the world” from the Green Restaurant Association.

Q: How did you help parents get used to the idea of an all plant-based diet?

A: The first year, we didn’t announce it. We were just serving one plant-based meal a week, so it wasn’t that drastic. We do monthly Muse Talks where we invite different speakers to our school to...

Ideas and Innovation
lettuce dirt

Savor at McCormick Place developed the Green Thumb brand for menu items and products featuring its rooftop bounty; the latest is a pale ale made with the first crop of hops grown on the roof. Promoting that branding and the convention center’s green certification has brought in business from groups with a sustainability focus.

Ideas and Innovation
business pamphlet fair show

As we struggle to recruit and retain millennials, we had our current millennial employees invite friends who don’t work for our organization to a Q&A session where we find out why our organization is or isn’t appealing to them, and what they are looking for in an employer. I recommend doing this off-site in a casual environment so you can get honest and open feedback that could be useful for better marketing.

Menu Development
pho bowl

Achieving authenticity can be tricky. Late last year, Oberlin College landed in the news when students protested the way dining services at the Ohio school was botching ethnic food, serving up inauthentic versions of Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s a challenge other operators are confronting, too, often tapping staff and patrons for inspiration.

At 260-bed Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite, Executive Chef Bradley Czajka, himself of Polish-Ukrainian descent, started Global Stations as a way to recognize the diversity of cultures at the hospital. “We have such an...

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