The Big Idea 2013: Stem to Root

Stem to Root dishes make use of all the edible, healthy parts of produce such as stalks, peels, rinds and roots.

Published in FSD Update

Kimberley Triplett
Executive Chef/Regional
Operations Support
Bon Appétit Management Co.
Palo Alto, Calif.

We launched a program in our C&U and corporate accounts called Stem to Root. Stem to Root dishes make use of all the edible, healthy parts of local, seasonal produce such as stalks, peels, rinds and roots. We use everything from sage sprigs and lemon zest to watermelon rinds. Stem to Root puts a fresh, unique spin on vegetarian and vegan dishes and minimizes waste while being healthy and delicious. The waste reduction is in line with Bon Appétit’s principles and long-term goals and it reduces carbon footprint.

The station usually consists of two entrées, one vegan and one vegetarian. It’s a full meal for the customers. We also do a lot of juicing with this program, usually from fruit from local farms. So we’ll take an apple and juice it to serve as a beverage for the meal. We will also take the pulp from the apple, freeze it and turn it into something like a lemon grass apple Popsicle for dessert. It’s all about taking a new approach to these items that we would usually throw in the compost bin.

The Stem to Root item could be the star of the recipe or could just be an accent piece. We are working on expanding the core menu items. The real challenge is providing training for the operator who wants to run it and getting the training for the staff. We provide training on a corporate level for our operators.

My biggest advice is if you are using an item that you usually throw away, you really need to test it to see how it works in a recipe. These recipes really need that development process. For example, we had trouble with the peel of ginger root. We found that if we freeze it, grate it and toss it with organic sugar, then it’s OK to use in something like an iced granita. But the point is, you’ve got to play with it. 

Stem to Root items promote using every part of an ingredient, including stems, peels, stalks, rinds and roots. The items help promote Bon Appétit’s sustainability mission.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The School District of Philadelphia and Baltimore City Public Schools are the latest districts in the Urban School Food Alliance to switch to compostable plates.

The move to the eco-friendlier products will save 19 million polystyrene products from landfills, according to a news release .

Schools often use polystyrene products due to their low cost. Polystyrene trays cost on average around 4 cents apiece, while compostable plates cost an average of 12 cents each. The Urban School Food Alliance’s collective buying power enabled them to create a compostable plate that costs...

Managing Your Business
allergies

Guy Procopio got a taste of the future when Michigan State University hosted a Boy Scout event in 2015. Out of 10,000 participants at the East Lansing, Mich., campus, Procopio, the director of dining services, received 1,400 requests to meet special dietary needs, including a wide spectrum of allergies, gluten intolerance or insensitivity, and other new or unusual hyper-specialized diets.

This dining trend isn’t letting up, at least in America: Food allergies in children increased approximately 50% from 1997 to 2011. They now affect one in 13 children in the United States,...

Industry News & Opinion

Students of Broward County Public Schools in Florida were treated to a special meal by celebrity chef Aria Kagan during lunch last week.

The chef and former contestant on “The Next Food Network Star” prepared her farm-fresh pesto panini in front of students at McNicol Middle School in Hollywood, Fla.

Her visit was part of the district’s Chefs Move to Broward initiative, through which a chef from nonprofit Wellness in the Schools visits district cafeterias each month to prepare a healthy meal. The chef then teaches cafeteria staff how to make the dish so it can be...

Managing Your Business
woman alone in kitchen

In a post-Harvey Weinstein world, there’s an awful anticipation over which star’s worst-kept secret will be outed next. The outpouring of claims of sexual harassment and abuse helped popularize the #MeToo social media campaign, encouraging women to share their stories and spurring allegations against upwards of 60 high-profile men. In October, the movement’s momentum hit the foodservice industry. Since, behemoths such as Mario Batali, John Besh and Todd English were forced to confront accusations of alleged sexual harassment or misconduct.

For many women, the scope of the industry’...

FSD Resources