Patricia Cobe

Patricia Cobe
foodservicedirector@winsightmedia.com


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.
Expect three megatrends to hang around for another year according to respondents: healthier comfort foods, plant-based dishes and more customization.
sopa seca
Healthy comfort food can mean different things to different diners, from veggie-packed mac and cheese on campus to lower-sodium soups for senior living.
smoked salmon cuts
Smoking, both as a cooking technique and flavor enhancer, is heating up. The NRA's 2015 Culinary Forecast named smoking one of the Top 5 preparation trends...

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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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