Patricia Cobe

Patricia Cobe

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.
churro smores
Some operators are going the speed-scratch route, starting with ready-made components and adding fresh ingredients back-of-house to create signature desserts.
Here are three currents that could splash into college foodservice and other noncommercial sectors.
Has Sriracha reached its saturation point or will it keep going strong? How about gluten-free foods? Our Chefs' Council shares the trends that will be shaping their menus in 2016...
FoodService Director surveyed our 50 Chefs' Council members to see what items customers are demanding and what will be on their menus in the coming year...
High egg prices, a result of the avian-flu epidemic, continue to worry noncommercial chefs. Some are taking preemptive measures by redirecting the menu.
Chefs' Council members agree big, bold flavors will continue to be in high-demand and will explore ingredients, cuisines and recipes embracing them...
Anytime eating with all-day menus is the model that seems to be evolving in college dining, senior living and health care, according to our respondents.


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In November, students at University of Missouri in Columbia began leading protests against discrimination faced by people of color on campus—including some marches through the dining halls. Julaine Kiehn, director of the school’s campus dining services, said the 2015-16 school year was a tough one, but she was proud of MU’s students for being at the forefront of a national movement.

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When I joined the staff at FoodService Director in the spring of 2015, I couldn’t believe how much there was to learn about the intricacies of the industry. My past experience, from kindergarten to my college days to on-the-job meals, would lead me to believe that noncommercial dining was a kind of automated process—an amenity that’s expected, and one you only become aware of if something goes wrong.

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A family’s request for at-home meal support for a patient at Lee Memorial in Fort Myers, Fla., led System Director of Food & Nutrition Services Larry Altier to uncover a gap in care. He saw that only 1% of patients had been coded (diagnosed and labeled for billing purposes) as malnourished, while more than 60% of all Lee Memorial patients are over 65 years or older, a population that experiences the issue at a higher rate.

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When it comes to sustainability, sometimes the smallest kitchen changes can make the biggest difference. When Chris Henning, senior assistant director of dining services for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, switched from standard latex gloves to nitrile gloves, he also set up a recycling program. Once recycled, the gloves are turned into playground equipment, bike racks and park benches.

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