Patricia Cobe

Patricia Cobe
foodservicedirector@winsightmedia.com


The Academy Awards are as big a deal as the Super Bowl in many circles, including senior living, college dining and other noncommercial facilities.
veggie balsamic pizza
School gardens, cooking classes and themed lunches are tools used to get kids to buy into bolder flavors, healthier foods and unusual ingredients.
Nashville hot chicken, a regional favorite, also has been on the bucket lists of food lovers visiting the Music City. Now it has flocked to other locales.
egg waffle
Omelet stations are a popular breakfast option among Texas Tech University’s 37,000 students, says Dewey McMurrey, executive chef of operations at the school.
What’s happening in the streetside channel of the business could cross over to noncommercial facilities.
samosa stuffed potato
To create a healthier but gratifying version of a normally calorie-ridden stuffed baked potato, Chuck Hatfield took a few cues from Indian cuisine.
pho bowl
Stations focusing on salads, sandwiches and omelets—last decade’s customization models—have evolved into a much wider variety of DIY consumer options.
ponce city market food
What’s happening street side could work in noncommercial settings.
Last year’s dominant menu trends might sound familiar, as foodservice directors have been riding those currents for some time. But the emphasis shifted.
philly cheesesteak
To “clean” up his school’s cheesesteak, Chef Kevin Frank replaced the meat product with one that’s more healthful and saves seven cents per serving.

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More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

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