FSD editors share their bests

Every year we ask our readers to share the bests they’ve encountered in a variety of aspects that make up the non-commercial market. This year, we turned that around on ourselves and came up with a list of our bests from places we’ve dined and operations we’ve visited. 

Editor Becky Schilling’s Bests

Best dessert
The deconstructed s’mores at The Butcher and the Boar, in Minneapolis.

Best bar food
Fried cheese curds from Public House, in Chicago.

Best brunch item
Jambalaya and eggs, from Sugar Freak in New York City.

Best meal of 2013
A six-course tasting menu at Daniel, in New York City. I’ve never had so much good food—and wine—in one meal.

Best new food item I tried this year
Chicken wings. Now, I know what you’re thinking: An editor of a food publication has never eaten chicken wings? But hear me out. I grew up in Texas and as a child I saw my fair share of people at county fairs gnawing on turkey legs with the juice from the meat running down their arms. It thoroughly disgusted me and turned me off to eating anything that required me to eat meat off a bone. But I’ve evolved and discovered the wonderful world of chicken wings. Pass the napkins!


Editorial Director Paul Kings’ Bests

The best example of sustainability I’ve seen
In general, I am impressed with the variety of ways institutions find to grow their own. But culinary services at Kennesaw State University, in Georgia, employs an amazing number of methods to demonstrate and promote sustainability on campus—including having two mini-greenhouses in The Commons dining center to educate students about plants and growing methods.

The best example of healthier meals I’ve experienced
I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I am really impressed with what Applebee’s has done with its 500-calorie menu. The items have eye appeal, are tasty and, best of all, do not look like they have only 500 calories.

The best comfort food
For me, it’s meatloaf with mashed potatoes and carrots.

The best culinary experience I’ve had in an airport
Le Grande Comptoir, at Houston’s Bush International Airport. Several years go, while waiting for a connecting flight, I wandered over to this wine bar to escape a family with rambunctious children at my gate. I ate nothing, but had a wonderful chat with the server behind the bar and was introduced to malbec.

The best food tour I’ve been on
A 2010 tour sponsored by the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association. We saw a variety of fruit farms, saw first-hand how fruit is processed for shipping overseas, toured a winery, visited the shipping port of Valparaiso and experienced some of the warmest hospitality I’ve ever had outside of the U.S.


Associate Editor Megan Warmouth’s Bests

Best meal of 2013
The five-course meal prepared by students of Portland’s Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts during the 2013 IFEC conference.

Best dessert
Magic happened when two Chicago shops combined forces—Dazed and Infused’s red velvet donut filled with Black Dog cajeta gelato

Best pasta dish
Green Noodles Alforno (spinach fettuccine with spinach and mushrooms, topped with baked dry ricotta cheese) at Bella Notte, in Chicago

Best new restaurant I tried
Parson’s Chicken & Fish, in Chicago

Best brewery I visited
Deshutes, in Portland, Ore.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
food snap

We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

Ideas and Innovation
hybrid worker

Some of our employees can work four 10-hour days. It’s really helped with balance. We’ve also created a lot of hybrid positions, such as a personal services assistant and foodservice worker role. It allows workers to pick up more shifts and cover both positions.

Ideas and Innovation
cheeseburger

We set up an interactive collaboration with our dietetics department where students worked with our culinary team to test how recipes are imagined and produced. One of the recipes they came up with was a barbecue tempeh sandwich, which they believed was a great option for vegan students across campus. We added the sandwich to our On the Go program and then expanded it to our vegan station on campus due to its success.

Ideas and Innovation
salad bowl

We have reorganized our salad bars to not only include the traditional DIY salad ingredients, but also several daily entree salads. Our students requested 32-ounce heavy glass salad bowls that have been wildly popular. The big bowls allow students to load up on their favorite salads and customize with additional ingredients from around the servery. We have seen a significant surge in usage that cuts across all groups, including athletes.

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