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

Industry News & Opinion

George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is adding an additional $200 in dining dollars to each student's dining plan this fall, The GW Hatchet reports.

The boost comes just a year after the university switched to an open-format dining plan that allows students to spend their entire meal fund off campus; allowed venues include about 90 grocery stores and restaurants.

While students support the new plan, they are concerned about dining affordability. In conjunction with discounted meal deals that were implemented last semester, school officials hope the extra $200...

Ideas and Innovation
breakfast restaurant food

This March, past FSD of the Month Randy Lait and his team gave the FoodService Director staff a tour of the operations at North Carolina State University. During our visit, Randy shared how data is affecting their menu creation and menu mix. At the university, they’re encouraging chefs to use big data—and not just gut feelings—to inform menu decisions.

Every foodservice operator wants to offer more contemporary items in order to please their customer base and keep chefs challenged and engaged. Many chefs make those decisions based on their own tastes, or what’s exciting them at the...

Ideas and Innovation
french press

While a French press isn’t a tool found in most noncommercial kitchens, operators might want to think twice about multiple uses for this fancy coffee maker. Staff at the Hard Rock Cafe are using the French press to muddle fruit and alcohol for their mixed drinks, while at Chicago bar Moneygun, bartenders use a French press to blend spices and tea for hot toddys.

Ideas and Innovation
student food tray

Stories of students who can’t pay for lunch being given a subpar meal or shamed for their debt have proliferated in recent years, and it’s not an uncommon problem. The SNA’s 2016 School Nutrition Operations Report found that about three-quarters of school districts had an unpaid student meal debt at the end of last school year, an increase from 71% of districts reporting debt in 2014.

Government has begun to take action. In April, the USDA issued new regulations mandating that schools implement unpaid meal policies by the start of the 2017-18 school year and clarifying that schools...

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