Bon Appétit foragers scout for local, regional products

Sept. 30—Bon Appétit Management Company has appointed 15 foragers to help source regional items and enhance relationships with local farmers.

The initiative is part of the company’s goal of partnering with 1,000 farm-to-fork vendors by next year. The forager is the first job of its kind for a national foodservice operation, according to a company press release. The company appointed 15 existing chefs and managers, who will focus on finding “hidden gems” from local farms. By establishing these forager positions in each region of operations, Bon Appétit said it is committing to finding small regional suppliers across its operation. The Bon Appétit foraging team will help connect real food producers to area chefs, bridging the gap between small farms and the foodservice industry.

“Sourcing the best local ingredients has always been part of my job as executive chef, and now as a forager I’m happy to focus more on this vital role,” John O’Neill, executive chef at Cisco in Boxboro, Mass., said in a press release. “Massachusetts is a colder climate but amazing regional delicacies can be found here if you know where to look. This year, I found more than 20 new suppliers, including an incredible local garlic producer. I’m excited to be able to use their products in our fall menus.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
chicken herbs

We make and broadcast short YouTube videos on TV monitors to educate our customers about cooking techniques, like how to cut up a chicken or what herbs and spices go well together. The monitors also are used to display daily menus, nutritional and allergen information, upcoming foodservice events and local weather forecasts.

Managing Your Business
wurster west may 2016

At a nearly 150-year-old university, every stone column and classroom has treasured stories to tell. But with that history come the logistical challenges of operating in outdated spaces—especially for foodservice. Such is the case at University of California at Berkeley, where longtime cafe Ramona’s in Wurster Hall closed in March to make way for an updated, as-yet unnamed concept.

With little more than a steam table and coolers, Ramona’s was limited by its lack of ventilation. And, as a former classroom space, it never was intended to function for foodservice, says Jennifer Wolch...

Ideas and Innovation
leftovers containers

We use our Menu Forward idea to empower staff to develop menu items and keep leftovers in check. Product left at the end of service may be claimed by any station to become part of a new item within six weeks. I’m happy to see my star team fighting for their ideas and products; the benefit to food cost is spot-on, and my freezer has no mystery items lurking in the corner.

Ideas and Innovation
food allergy

When potential students come to campus, we match them with a student from our allergy support group for a tour of our dining facilities. The ambassador helps the potential student to understand how they navigated campus with their food allergy. This showcases what we do for allergies on campus, and is a highly successful way to make the students feel good about dining.

FSD Resources