MenuDirections’ cooking "show"

At MenuDirections 2014, chefs reveal character and creativity at our unique culinary competition.

Here are the four dishes that were created:

  • Team A—Justin Gillette and Steve Pexton: Ponzu Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Sriracha Mayo, Garlic-Wasabi Black Bean Mash and Pickled Plums.
  • Team B—Joe Kraft and Robert Winther: Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Vegetable Mushroom Duzelle, Garbanzo Bean and Black Bean Cake, Lemon Plum and Blueberry Compote with Greens Dressed with Wasabi Vinaigrette.
  • Team C—Darla Mehrkens and Melissa Martinez: Pan-Fried Pork Tenderloin with Blueberry-Plum-Wasabi BBQ Sauce, Baked Beans with Red Peppers, Garlic, Onion, Sriracha and Parsley, and Creamed Spinach.
  • Team D—Paul Nicolini and Tom Sewell: Pork Loin Marinated in Sriracha Chili Sauce & Carolina Blonde Bean Sauce, over Housemade Black Bean Noodles Tossed with Orange Sauce and Fresh Vegetables.

Earlier in the day, as I was prepping our contestants before they entered the “kitchen,” Darla asked me a question. She said, “Are you saying it was totally random, two girls against six guys?”

“It isn’t two girls and six guys,” I responded. “It’s a team of two women against a team of two men, a team of two men and a team of two men.” And then, to try to lighten the mood, I added, “And my money’s on you,” pointing at Darla and Melissa.

Well, it turns out I was prescient, for it was indeed the ladies who earned the nod from our judges. They received a plaque, free registration to MenuDirections 2015 and an invitation to be judges at next year’s event. Not bad pay for 75 minutes’ work.

But really, our hats are off to all four teams, who demonstrated skill and creativity under fire while gaining 75 minutes of fame, and who undoubtedly took back more than a few ideas for their operations—which is why they came to MenuDirections in the first place.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Maryland will begin offering weekly specials at all of its dining halls this semester, The Diamond Back reports.

The weekday specials will allow Dining Services to offer past menu items that students miss as well as new dishes students have been requesting, according to a spokesperson.

Students can find out which specials are being offered each week via dining hall table tents as well as through Dining Services’ social media. During select weeks, the specials may reflect a particular theme, such as Taste of the South.

Read the full story via...

Menu Development
jackfruit

It emerged as a top food trend on Pinterest’s 2017 predictions, is “the latest miracle food” according to Epicurious, and was called “a nutritional bonanza” by NPR. Jackfruit is the latest superfood garnering buzz, and Even Stevens Sandwiches has gone after the vegetarian-friendly option for a recently launched torta. Here, Culinary Director Brandon Price shares three lessons learned from adding jackfruit to the menu.

Finding the best form

Using fresh jackfruit wasn’t the answer for the chain. It has to be sourced internationally, and breaking it down cuts into labor costs. But...

Ideas and Innovation
hibachi grill cooking

We saw in 2016 that many operators were trying to have some type of display cooking in their food operation. We installed a hibachi grill this fall, and within three months we had 300 residents and guests make reservations. We also use our hibachi grill for cooking classes twice a month, where our hibachi chef Abby Kramer does an excellent job teaching different cuisines. We have received so many compliments that we have decided to get another hibachi grill for a different dining venue in 2017.

Menu Development
brisket beef plate

Just when it seemed barbecue couldn’t get any trendier—it did. More consumers now than in 2014 are looking for a variety of barbecue menu items, according to Technomic’s Center of the Plate: Beef & Pork Consumer Trend Report. The demand is up for smoked sausage (+19%), beef brisket (+12%) and beef ribs (+16%) for dinner—a trend noncommercial operators say they are also noticing.

Corporate Executive R&D Chef Jeffrey Quasha at Atlanta-based Morrison Healthcare helped launched 50 Liberty Street BBQ microconcept locations throughout the U.S. in December. Due to their success,...

FSD Resources