Catering with Combinations

Published in Menu Strategies

Although box lunches and meeting fare account for most of UNC Health Care’s annual catering business, the Chapel Hill, N.C. based healthcare system also caters some memorable upscale events which offer creative menus and beverage pairings. And like their peers in commercial eateries, Executive Chef Shawn Dolan and Sous Chef Susan Gardner often feature in-state wines and craft brews and use foodstuffs from nearby farms.

Argentinean cabernet sauvignon with Carved Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin, California chardonnay with Tandoori Chicken and North Carolina brown ale with pasta are just some of the prime pairings UNC Health Care board members enjoyed at a special catered event prepared by the top chefs of the not-for-profit healthcare system in Chapel Hill, N.C., recently.

Although box lunches and meeting fare account for most of UNC’s $800,000 to $900,000 annual catering business, there are a handful of memorable upscale catered events like that each year, some of which host as many as 5,000 guests. In addition to board affairs, they include holiday parties, networking sessions for local businesses and the Service Awards banquet for hospital associates.

Each is an opportunity for Executive Chef Shawn Dolan and Sous Chef Susan Gardner, both trained at the Culinary Institute of America, to put their talents to the test with creative menus and beverage pairings.

“Shawn always gets excited when we have these events because he has the chance to really play,” says Ryan Miller, associate director of retail services.

Like their peers in commercial eateries, the chefs often choose in-state wines and craft brews and use foodstuffs from nearby farms in their pairings.

A particular hit at the board member event was the beef tenderloin, cooked sous vide for four hours to a rosy pink and served on brioche rolls with chimichurri, barbecue and horseradish sauces. Sous vide equipment is also used daily to prepare chicken and burgers for patient meals.

It’s emblematic of the company mission. “Our goal is to bring restaurant-quality food to the hospital setting,” says Miller.

Menu Sampler: UNC Health Care

Board Catered Event

  • Goat Cheese Tartlets

  • Pasta Station with Tortellini in Aurora Sauce and Orecchiette in Primavera Sauce

  • Shrimp & Grits

  • Assorted Handmade Truffles   

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo has appointed Satya Menard as global CEO of its schools and universities segments.

Menard has been with Sodexo for 20 years, holding senior roles within the company such as CEO of benefits and rewards services for Central Europe and CEO of Central and South America for on-site services.

Most recently, Menard was CEO of service operations, a capacity in which he coordinated internal support to operations including service experts in facilities management, food, supply chain and information services and technology.

Menard will transition to the role beginning...

Sponsored Content
little caesars

From PODS ®.

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars® is the largest carryout-only pizza chain in the United States. Founded in 1959 as a single, family-owned restaurant, Little Caesars has become the third largest pizza chain in the world with stores in 23 countries and territories worldwide, including in each of the 50 U.S. states. Each day it serves more than three million pizzas to its customers.

All the equipment used by Little Caesars is supplied by Blue Line Distribution, a wholly owned subsidiary of the restaurant franchise. This includes foodservice...

Industry News & Opinion

A new law in Washington will expand Breakfast After the Bell programs throughout the state, the Daily Fly reports.

Signed into law on Wednesday by Gov. Jay Inslee, HB 1508 requires that schools in which at least 70% of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals offer Breakfast After the Bell by the time the 2019-2020 school year begins.

The food offered at breakfast must meet federal nutrition standards and can’t be made up of more than 25% added sugar. Schools must also give preference to food that is fresh and grown in the state.

The breakfast period can...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Southern California in Los Angeles will begin offering fresh kosher meals three times a week at its USC Village Dining Hall, the Daily Trojan reports.

The meals will be delivered to the dining hall every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening by a local kosher butcher beginning March 20. The butcher will also deliver sandwiches, salads and other kosher items to a marketplace on campus.

Around 15 Orthodox students who are on meal plans will be able to enjoy the meals, according to the Daily Trojan. Students can receive their meals at the cashier’s desk in...

FSD Resources