FoodService Director | March 2012

For the first time in 15 years, the USDA has made significant changes to the types of foods school directors can and can't serve. Operators say menu planning to fit the new regulations is a bit like fitting together the pieces of a complex puzzle.

When it comes to cheese, it seems many chefs never tire of dreaming up new recipes. Some even say they now find success with cheese substitutes that fill growing requests from vegans and lactose-...

FSD of the Month

"Forward-thinking" is how people describe Cheryl Shimmin, network director of nutrition services for Kettering Health Network in Dayton, Ohio. That mindset is an asset in this...

Steal this idea

We hosted an eight-course farm-to-table coffee-themed dinner in partnership with a local roaster. The menu incorporated a specialty coffee into each recipe, such as mushroom and hazelnut stuffed...
Every quarter each school invites a “celebrity”—a school administrator, police officer, firefighter, high school athlete, restaurant chef or a high-profile community...
We had a surf and turf meal for Valentine’s Day, marketing it as “a match made in heaven.” We offered locally raised beef tenderloin with slippery lobster tail and sweet...
We offer a mid-afternoon break of housemade lemonade with flavor shots. Customers are able to customize their lemonade with strawberry purée, ginger or mint simple syrups. We also offer...
The Taste of Nations monthly event features our international students presenting pictures, maps, video, music, dress, dance and other information about their home. Authentic foods from their country...
We hide puréed kidney beans in our tacos. As the year progresses, the purée gets chunkier until the students can recognize the kidney beans. At first you disguise the beans and...
We have an annual vegetarian harvest dinner at the Faculty House for The Faculty Club, the body of members entitled to participate in the Club’s activities and to use the facility. The menu...
Our residents were asking questions about ingredients we used so we started a Taste Sensations event. The chef selects a topic—oil, cheese, tomatoes—and tells the residents...
We offered cooking classes based on making 20-minute meals to all Cisco employees. The last class booked up within 15 minutes. The classes are led by our chefs de cuisine and our sous chef and have...
Our director of schools wants to build the community’s reading skills, so every elementary school picks a book and all the students read that book each day for a set amount of time. Some of...
We have a volunteer who makes rounds in the entire facility three days a week, providing each veteran with a snack of choice, a newspaper and a smile with conversation. The volunteer, Mr. Branch, is...
We have eight convenience stores that sell a large range of breakfast foods, snacks, beverages, frozen meals and candy. C-store tours are another way to increase awareness of healthy eating on the...

Menu Strategies

A“food superstore” similar to New York City’s over-the-top Eataly is scheduled to open at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass., says Ken Toong executive...

Under 30

Sarah Wilson, foodservice technician, first joined the Irving (Texas) Independent School District nutrition department during her senior year in high school as a paid intern, says Michael Rosenberger, director of food & nutrition services. Wilson exce

Confessions

Joie Schoonover, director of Dining and Culinary Services at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, wants to travel to the 1950s, dreams of Europe and doesn’t understand fried foods on sticks.

Recipes

Health & Wellness

As more college students are diagnosed with nutrition-related health problems, university foodservice programs increasingly are turning to other departments to help provide necessary guidance. One...
The Dining Services department at North Carolina State University is continually coming up with new ways to help students on the meal plan eat more healthfully. Among the latest ventures are QR codes...
school lunch
In January the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the final meal pattern regulations for school meals, as mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Kevin Concannon, USDA under secretary for...

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
sriracha bottles

Generally, I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. They tend to be grandiose and unrealistic—and why not just resolve to start doing/not doing that thing you’re not doing/doing right away instead of going hog wild until Jan. 1? (New Year’s Day also is my birthday, and if you can’t eat at your favorite Thai restaurant and sip bubbly then, well, when can you?)

I do, however, enjoy the raucous singing of “Auld Lang Syne” to ring in the new year, though I’ve never been quite sure whether you’re supposed to be remembering the year fondly or happily putting it out of mind. While I...

Managing Your Business
briggo coffee haus kiosk

Though diners’ appetites for coffee are seemingly bottomless, adding a full-service coffee shop to every corner of a facility probably isn’t in the playbook. Here’s a look at how two operators added coffee service with relatively small footprints—with one decidedly futuristic (robot barista, anyone?), and the other low-tech but nimble.

Specialty coffee vending at Dell

Dell has a full-service Starbucks on its Red Rock, Texas, campus, but the location isn’t always convenient for a quick coffee pickup. “Certain times, you go into the bistro, like 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., there’s quite a long...

Ideas and Innovation
baked bread

Instead of sourcing value-added product to reduce labor, the food and nutrition team at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison outsources its baked goods to a local shop that hires only formerly incarcerated workers. The bakery was able to hire two new former inmates in order to keep up with the volume needs of the hospital. “We want to be really entrenched in the community, not just have a building that sits in the center of Madison,” says Amy Mihm, clinical nutrition specialist for the hospital.

Managing Your Business
food symbols allergens

Bellevue School District in King County, Wash., has reduced the instances of life-threatening allergic reactions by 94% since 2013. Wendy Weyer, business manager for nutrition services, says that success stems from direct communication with the district’s 20,000 students.

Q: What was the first thing you did to start reducing allergic reactions?

A: More than five years ago, we changed our menu signage to provide information to students on what the common allergens were on all the foods that were served at every station. We use symbols such as an egg or a wheat stalk for younger...

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