Dalton School wins Flik cook-off event

MAY 9—The Dalton School was the winner in the first Flik Invitational Cook-Off event in New York City. Dalton competed against teams from the Trinity School and Grace Church School. All three schools have contracted with Flik Independent Dining to provide their foodservice.

Each school’s team consisted of 11 student team members and the executive chef at the school. The teams had 45 minutes and $85 to create a three-course meal, which consisted of one cold appetizer, one hot entrée and one cold dessert.

Each school decided how the student team members were selected. Some schools had culinary clubs from which they selected participants. According to Leon Stallone, executive chef at the Dalton School, the members for his team were selected from a lottery. The students worked with their executive chef for five or six weeks prior to the cook-off. The menu at the Dalton School was created by Stallone after taking suggestions from the students. “I asked the students to write down their favorite appetizer, entrée and dessert,” he said. “I took the lists and from there created the menu we would make.” Stallone said many of the students said similar items. One similarity was a burger for the entrée. The Dalton team’s entrée was Turkey Crunch Burger Sliders.

The rest of the Dalton menu was a Cold Avocado Soup with Roasted Corn and Cilantro; the sliders were served with “Hasselback” Potato, Health Slaw and a Homemade Pickle served with a Low-fat Banilla Frosty; and a Strawberry Tiramisu Cone.

Trinity School’s menu comprised Crab and Avocado Salad with Roasted Poblano Peppers, Plantain Chips, Micro Cilantro and Chipotle Oil; Oven Roasted Stuffed Chicken Breast with Grilled Vegetables and Goat Cheese, Fresh Herb Polenta Cake and Roasted Red Pepper Coulis; and Strawberry Panna Cotta with Fruit Compote.

Grace Church School’s consisted of Local Spring Asparagus Gazpacho; Local Black Sea Bass with Mediterranean Salsa over Wilted Greens; and Orange-Scented Zabaglione Custard made with Local Eggs, served with Fresh Berries.

The event was emceed by Michael Lomonaco, executive chef and managing partner of Porter House New York at the Time Warner Center in New York City. Lomonaco said, "Once kids get closer to the raw ingredients and the food preparation, they understand where food comes from. When you give students the opportunity to be creative they are able to come up with great ideas.”

Lomonaco added that events like the cook-off were important to show the positive side of school foodservice. “Not all school food is bad food,” he said. “It’s a balance between providing what the guests, in this case the students, want and what the provider, whether that is mom or a foodservice provider, wants the students to eat. This event provides an opportunity for young people to learn about flavorful, fresh and nutritious food.”

In addition to being a fun event for the students, $5,200 was raised for Spoons Across America, a not-for-profit organization that provides culinary education for students, teachers and parents.

To see photos from the event, visit our Facebook page here.



More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
spilled coffee beans glasses

Following an initial test at the end of May, Starbucks announced that more than 500 of its stores will be pouring nitro coffee by the end of summer. Capitalizing on the cold-brew coffee trend—which reached $7.9 million in sales in 2015 on 115% growth from the previous year, according to researcher Mintel—select U.S. cafes will give up the counter space to serve the creamy, nitrogen-infused java made from the cold-brew base. But how did nitro become the hottest new thing in coffee?

Bringing the bar to coffeehouses

It was the chrome double tap, similar to a bar’s beer tap, and the...

Ideas and Innovation
star wars storm trooper

My favorite event—because I’m kind of dorky—is our “May the fourth be with you” (aka “Star Wars”) day on May 4. The whole dining team dresses up, and we offer things like Chewbaklava, Boba Fettuccine and BB-8 Buckeyes. We had a guest cry because they got to take a picture with Chewy.

Menu Development
recipe revamp chicken soup

As a continuous care retirement community, The Garlands of Barrington in Illinois provides daily foodservice to 270 independent living and skilled nursing care residents, with the majority of sodium restrictions coming from the latter, says Executive Chef Nicola Torres. Instead of cooking two versions of chicken noodle soup—a favorite offered at least twice a week—he reworked his recipe into a flavorful lower-sodium version that appeals to all. “Everybody eats soup, so I created a homemade stock that uses no salt at all, ramping up the flavor with fresh herbs and plenty of vegetables,...

Ideas and Innovation
tray number

We created lucky tray days to help create an experience surrounding our brand. The trays are numbered; we pick a number and the winner receives a free lunch. We’ve enlisted the help of one of our coaches, who calls out the random lucky winner, and it drums up a lot of excitement.

FSD Resources