Learning to love food

Published in FSD Update

My new self challenges for a new city.

This past month has provided—well, forced might be a more accurate word—time for serious self-reflection. It’s amazing all the things you find when you have to pack up all of your belongings to move to another city. (I recently moved to Chicago, where FoodService Director’s editorial offices are now located.)

One of my most treasured possessions is a plaque that has a quote from Abraham Lincoln embossed on it—“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” The plaque hung in my grandmother’s doorway for years, and after her passing, it was something I asked to have.

As I was packing up the plaque I thought, “If grandma were to find out I was the editor of a publication about food, she would be laughing right now.” As a child I was an incredibly picky eater. I ate foods covered in cheese—I still love a good mac and cheese recipe (see p. 62 for some ideas)—and that was about it. If there was meat in something, good luck trying to get me to try it.

All of this must have frustrated my grandma, though she would never let me know. You see, my grandma was a celebrity chef. Well, sort of. Back in the ’50s my grandma had a cooking show on the local PBS station in Oklahoma. It was a program put on by the local gas company called Looking and Cooking. My grandma wasn’t a chef by any means, but she knew her way around a kitchen and her cooking was often the center of our family gatherings. 

I’ve grown up a lot in my food repertoire in the past 15 years, something I’m sure my grandma thought would never come. And yes, just in case you’re wondering, I do eat meat. I’ve tried all kinds of food that the 10-year-old version of myself would never have swallowed, but it was recently pointed out to me that even with that progress, I still had a lot to learn about food. Which leads me back to my self-reflection project. 

I lived in New York City for six years. Looking back, I didn’t take full advantage of the city’s culinary offerings. It wasn’t that I didn’t eat out often—or as often as a recent graduate student with student loans could afford. I simply found my favorite spots and kept going back. And I’d often order the same thing. I’ve decided that in my new city, that needs to change. So I’m going to challenge myself to try new places and order new dishes. I’ll keep you posted on my culinary challenge on my Twitter page (@bschilling_FSD).  And if you have suggestions of places I should try out, shoot me an email at bschilling@cspnet.com. If you happen to be in Chicago some day, let me know and you can join me on my adventure. Just don’t ask me to cook—that’s something even my grandma would tell me just wasn’t within my talent pool.  

Keywords: 
new concepts

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

The updated policy comes just before U.S. school districts will be required to publicly list their lunch debt policies, per new USDA requirements starting July 1...

Menu Development
eureka

Since California’s state motto is “Eureka!” it seems fitting that a recent conversation with the director of hospitality at San Diego’s Palomar Health led to the biggest aha moment I’ve had in a long time.

I called Jim Metzger in late April with the purpose of discussing Palomar’s recent commitment to the goal of making 60% of its total menu plant-based by this summer. It seemed a lofty number, and I was curious how the public health system planned to get there.

But my personal eureka didn’t come while we were talking about how Palomar had cleaned up the impulse-buy zones...

Industry News & Opinion

Labeling foods with indulgent buzzwords such as “sweet sizzlin’” and “crispy” can lead consumers to make healthier food choices , according to a recent study out of Stanford University .

In the fall 2016 study, researchers labeled vegetables in one of the school’s dining halls using terms from four categories: basic, healthy restrictive, healthy positive or indulgent.

The green beans, for example, were listed as “green beans” for basic, “light ‘n’ low-carb green beans and shallots” for healthy restrictive, “healthy energy boosting green beans and shallots” for healthy...

Ideas and Innovation
sparkling water

Our carbonated soft drink sales at Earls.67 reflect a national trend; we’re continually down on carbonated soft drink sales by 8% to 9% on an annual basis,” says Cameron Bogue, beverage director at the contemporary-casual chain Earls Kitchen + Bar.

The issue with spa water

Many operators are intrigued with the offering, but they are learning that infused water can’t be offered at a cost to guests unless there is added value beyond cut-up fruit. Bogue says, “I was adamant that I didn’t want to charge for spa water.”

Agua fresca alternatives

At the original location of

...

FSD Resources