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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Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

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