It's A Wrap: MenuDirections 2013 Put to Bed

Conference featured record number of sponsors and a "wow" factor that was off the charts.

Well, the dust has settled on what just might be our best MenuDirections conference ever. Despite—or, perhaps, aided by—the less-than-optimum weather in Tampa, our more than 200 attendees said they had a great time learning and networking.

We had record sponsorship for the conference, and those sponsors provided value far beyond the products they presented at our various vendor fairs. From sustainable seafood to hog butchering, from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, from lowering sodium to raising the fruit quotient of food, attendees certainly got their money’s worth from presenters with a wealth of knowledge on healthy foods.

Celebrity chef Jet Tila was on hand to demonstrate ways to prepare healthier foods, and he was followed by the always informative Dr. James Painter, who talked about the good and the bad sides of sugar. He was aided by two outstanding dietitians, Tara Gidus and Marie Spano, who shared their personal insights on sugar as a “friend or foe.”

Our awards banquet had a decidedly “Southern state of mind” as Darius Rucker might sing. Our Foodservice Director of the Year, Angelo Mojica, hails from Chapel Hill, N. C., where he is the director of food and nutrition at UNC Healthcare. Our first-ever Grand Goldie award winner was from North Carolina State University, just down the road from UNC in Raleigh-Durham. Finally, the team that won our first culinary competition was composed of Brent Lewis, from St. Joseph Hospital in Tampa, Fla., and Darrick Henry from Baylor Orthopedic & Spine Hospital in Arlington, Texas.

All in all, it was an event to be proud and—and to build on. We’ve already begun the planning process for MenuDirections 2014, which will be staged in Charlotte, N.C. Feb. 23-25. We hope to see you there.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

In a bid to beef up its presence in sports arenas and a variety of other large venues, Sodexo will acquire foodservice vendor Centerplate for $675 million.

Sodexo says the deal, which is expected to be finalized by the end of this year, will more than double its global footprint.

Centerplate, which serves as the foodservice operator for a number for stadiums, convention halls and other event spaces, brought in revenues of $998 million for the year ending June 2017, according to Sodexo. Centerplate was purchased five years ago by Olympus Partners, a private-equity company...

Menu Development
eggs

Loyola University Maryland took a new approach to all-day breakfast with an egg-focused concept.

Breakfast options were top of mind for students when asked what they would like to see on the menu at the university’s revamped Boulder Garden Cafe. Instead of creating an all-day breakfast station, however, the Baltimore-based dining team went beyond traditional options and created a concept that services all mealparts with eggs.

“It can be somewhat mundane,” says Executive Chef Don Crowther on why the team strayed away from the trendy all-day breakfast. At the eatery’s Sunny...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Kansas has added a retail pass that allows students to purchase one to-go combo meal per day at cafes and markets on campus, the University Daily Kansan reports.

The pass is available on two different meal plans and is geared toward on-the-go students who don’t have the time to sit down and eat at a residence hall.

“It has increased the participation rate,” Jamie Reed, a service assistant for the school’s dining services, told the University Daily Kansan.

Over 1,800 students have used the pass since its debut at the beginning of the semester....

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Minnesota dining team has created a vegan student group in an effort to improve the school’s vegan offerings, Minnesota Daily reports.

The group was created by the school’s foodservice vendor, Aramark, and its campus sustainability coordinator, who is vegan, after receiving numerous complaints from students about the lack of vegan options on campus.

The group will this week host its first meeting, during which members will be able to share feedback and provide solutions to help enhance the school’s vegan offerings. Members will also keep a photo journal...

FSD Resources