Fourth Annual "The Best"

Fourth Annual "The Best"

Menu

Best new menu item we introduced in 2013
My favorite this year is our mini items like mini shepherd’s pie, mini pot pies and mini crêpes gratinée at Passport Café. Not only do the items help with portion control and cost, but presentationwise they really have impact and are hard for our customers to resist.

Another one of my favorites is our grab-and-go Asian food at Passport Café. We added some popular appetizers. From sushi to fresh rolls, steamed dumplings and even crab salad, the appetizers really added interest to our grab-and-go case. And since we partnered with a popular local sushi restaurant, we solved a couple of challenges: They provide us with the variety our community craves, students get the same quality they were used to at Asian restaurants and we didn’t have to bring in a ton of new ingredients or packaging.
—Maya Vincelli, assistant director of retail operations, University of Richmond, Virginia

At our new food truck, the Galloping Griz, which opened in April 2013, we wanted to offer our student guests unique menu items with a low food cost and quality ingredients at a competitive price point. During some experimentation, Ian Waetje, manager of UM Concessions, rolled carne asada and pepper Jack cheese in a fresh-made tortilla, then fried it to a crispy, golden brown. The result was a neatly packaged combination of hearty Mexican flavors, and the “asada bomb,” or “A-Bomb,” was born. Soon to follow were the H-Bomb, the vegetarian version featuring hummus and avocado; the Kung “Pow” Bomb, with chicken, green onion, Szechuan peppercorns and a spicy kung “Pow” sauce; and the inevitable F-Bomb—“F” for fajita—complete with fire-braised chicken and green bell peppers. The bomb line is now a mainstay of the Galloping Griz’s late-night menu, selling about 60 bombs each night at $2.50 each.
—Mark LoParco, director of dining services, University of Montana, Missoula

Best vegetarian/vegan dish we offer
We have an absolutely delicious Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff that we serve in the dining centers that is very yummy.
—Patti Klos, director of dining and business services, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.

Fried Green Tomato Lasagna: Fried green tomatoes layered with garlic and herb Boursin cheese, housemade marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.
—Paula Amols, director, Dining Services & Racer Hospitality, Murray State University, Murray, Ky.

Best special event menu we’ve created
A traditional New England clam bake for 800 members of our professional
association (NACUFS) at the conclusion of the 2012 National Conference.
—Patti Klos, director of dining and business services, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.

Best place I’ve gone for menu inspiration
The best of the best for menu inspiration took place while attending the AHF National Conference in New Orleans in June of 2013. New Orleans is the smorgasbord of culturally diverse restaurants and foods. Better yet was having the keynote speaker deliver a presentation on the evolution of the cuisine, combining French, English, Spanish and Black American. My personal favorite: Commander’s Palace.
—Frank Coffey, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn

Our parents! We enjoy serving recipes that reflect Saint Paul’s diverse student body.
—Jean Ronnei, chief operations officer, Saint Paul Public Schools, Minnesota

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Industry News & Opinion

Six Philadelphia hospitals were honored by the city’s department of public health for healthy food initiatives introduced as part of the local Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program, bizjournals.com reports .

The hospitals each debuted healthy measures to their dining services, such as lowering the cost of water bottles and seltzers, and offering dishes that incorporate local produce. One hospital was also honored for operating its own organic farm.

The facilities that were honored were:

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Sodexo is partnering with celebrity chef Robert Irvine in an attempt to provide military communities with healthier meals.

The 10-year partnership will allow Sodexo to access chef Irvine’s knowledge of nutrition and fitness in its aim to benefit the quality of life for military members, the vendor said in a news release.

Sodexo hopes that Irvine’s popularity as the host of Food Network’s "Restaurant: Impossible" will draw attention to its commitment to nutrition, health and well being. Irvine also has a military history himself—before embarking on his culinary career, he...

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The cafeteria at the Smithsonian's new National Museum for African American History and Culture is intended to be an extension of the museum, showcasing stations that offer cuisines from different geographic locations such as the Creole coast and agricultural South, Time reports .

The eatery, Sweet Home Cafe, was set up to highlight the wide range of African-American cuisine, Executive Chef Jerome Grant told Time. When it officially opens later this month, it will serve dishes such as shrimp and grits, pan-roasted oysters and a fried catfish po’boy.

Celebrity chef Carla...

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