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 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...
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...

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

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...
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...

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

Menu Development
meatloaf slices plate

“This is the best meatloaf I’ve ever had,” a diner at Alcatel-Lucent telecommunications in Naperville, Ill., once told chef Iraj Fernando. The dish was rooted in a tried-and-true source—the “Betty Crocker Cookbook.”

“I just seasoned the breadcrumbs differently, used fresh parsley and beat the eggs to make them frothier,” says Fernando, executive chef and manager for Southern Foodservice Management.

Consumer interest is up for classic and comforting meat dishes like meatballs (16%), beef pot pie (26%) and meatloaf (12%) for dinner now compared to two years ago, shows...

Ideas and Innovation
oxford school district cafeteria

We have spent considerable money making cafeterias cool again. New paint jobs, crazy color patterns, custom graphics and changes in lighting schemes have made some of our cafes popular gathering places. We’ve also experimented with videos, cable TV programs and music. We involved a number of student groups and student input in improving the atmosphere, especially in our high school and middle school cafeterias.

Ideas and Innovation
kale quinoa salad

With all the hype around probiotics, we decided to create a daily dish that incorporates probiotics in addition to prebiotics. You rarely hear about prebiotics, and this was a great way to highlight how the two work synergistically to maintain a healthy gut. Our chefs have developed menu items such as roasted salmon with yogurt and mint vinaigrette; kale and quinoa salad with warm maple dressing; and leek soup with pickled cucumbers, to name a few.

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