2017 trend: Health on the menu

senior citizens eating healthy old people

The definition of health has broadened since our 2015 survey. Chefs’ Council members still are concerned about cooking with less salt and fat to reduce both sodium and calories, and allergies and food sensitivities are top of mind. But ingredient sourcing has increased in importance, with issues such as clean labels, local and seasonal produce and food safety gaining ground. 

Salad add-ons

hummus pita

"We have recently opened a cafe in our main fitness center that will offer healthy food options (and a few cheat day/indulgent items) to go. Add-ons for salads include avocado, ‘hummuspheres’ and lean proteins.”

—Carrie Anderson
University of Illinois at

Fruit- and vegetable-juice vinaigrettes and dressings

vinaigrette salad dressing

“Fruit- and vegetable-juice vinaigrettes and dressings in K-12 for a healthier salad bar option.”

— Ryan McNulty
Metz Culinary Management

Kosher-certified station

kosher stamp certified

“A kosher-certified station featuring Middle Eastern dishes and halal offerings.”

—Jose Martinez
University of California at Berkeley

Seasonal sandwiches

brie sandwich

“Our sandwich selection for summer has been a hit with seasonal items like our Peaches and Scream, made with toasted sourdough, heirloom tomatoes, habanero peach mostarda, Brie and sprouts.”

—Daniel Skay
Castle Rock Adventist Hospital

Fresh juices and superfoods

vegetable juice

“Fresh juices and superfoods [promoted as such] are very popular now, and we intend to expand on these.”

—Jim Mazzaraco
Corning Inc.

Protein as an accent

modern market breakfast plate

“We are in the process of making the protein more of an accent on the plate, making it the last item guests can choose and having control of what that portion is.”

—Kurt Kwiatkowski
Michigan State University

Vegan desserts

raw vegan date hazelnut cookies

“Vegan desserts are our latest success in this area. They’re a healthy option, a good value and can be offered at several meal occasions.”

—Ron DeSantis
Yale University 

Plant-based proteins

falafel pita

“We are constantly using equipment in new and inventive ways to change the flavor and texture of plant-based proteins, sampling new plant-based products and testing new recipes to find ways to excite the palate.”

—Carrie Anderson
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Butternut squash

butternut squash

"Our new roasted butternut squash and dried cranberry lentil salad got very positive feedback. Squash is the new kale.”

—Bill Laychur
Pennsylvania State University


kombucha jar glass

“A kombucha bar is in the works.”

—Jose Martinez
University of California at Berkeley

Bubble tea

taro bubble tea tapioca

“I’m adding bubble tea next year.”

—Eric Cartwright
University of Missouri

Fresh-pressed juice

juice squeeze

“We are currently using fresh-pressed juice that is being made locally, but is high-pressure processed so we can safely sell it.”

—Drew Patterson
Wexner Medical Center

Infused water

water citrus

“I’m adding more infused water. It has really taken off, and it’s free.”

—Greg Gates
Kaiser Permanente

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