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

Industry News & Opinion

The University of New Mexico’s proposed on-campus taproom has officially been approved by the school’s Board of Regents.

Construction on the $650,000 student union taproom will begin this summer and is expected to finish in August when students return to campus. The school’s food vendor, Chartwells, and UNM’s Dining & Food Services department will split the cost of the taproom evenly.

Designed by students in the school’s architecture department, the space will feature a rotating selection of beer and wine, and will also welcome guest brewers. Chartwells will be...

Ideas and Innovation
cafeteria

Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

Building...
Ideas and Innovation
hydroponics

We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

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.

FSD Resources