Patricia Cobe

Patricia Cobe
foodservicedirector@winsightmedia.com


healthy minestrone soup
To give customers and patients a healthier, lower-sodium minestrone soup, Kathleen Nielsen of McKay-Dee Hospital “cleaned up” a speed-scratch version.
brussels sprouts charring
In the past few weeks, Senior Editor Pat Cobe has noticed activity in three areas: restaurant-design, a favorite daypart and a hot cooking technique.
almond milk almonds
Cow’s milk is the most common food allergy among babies and young children—2.5 percent of the population experience an adverse reaction, says the CDC.
What’s bubbling up in the restaurant world that may be adaptable to noncommercial foodservice? Here’s a look at a cuisine that’s poised to take off.
A behind-the-scenes menu sampling at some of Chicago’s recently opened eateries provided foodservice directors with ideas to bring back to their operations.
NAFEM
The National Association of Foodservice Equipment Manufacturers Show got underway with 500-plus exhibitors touting their goods. Here are the top 5 trends.
The morning meal is booming, especially in the quick-service restaurant segment. In this special section, the editors of FoodService Director and Restaurant Business look at ways operators are...
MenuDirections 2014 got off to a rousing start with the opening of the General Session by Dr. Pamela Allison, Ph.D. and associate professor of the Hospitality College at Johnson & Wales...

It was my great luck to be in Tampa, Florida, from March 3-5 to attend MenuDirections 2013. This much anticipated conference for non-commercial operators includes a stellar lineup of speakers, workshops, chef demos and more. But I was luckier still to be asked to be one of five judges for the first-ever Culinary Competition.

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More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
reusable coffee cup thermos

We were inspired by a book titled “Influence” to start a sustainable cup program called My Cup. All 15,000 new students receive a reusable cup with their name on it, which they can use at the dining halls. Personalizing helps them invest in the program and actually use it.

Menu Development
quinoa bowl

In a time of growing health consciousness, it might not be enough anymore for food to be merely filling. According to Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report , diners are looking for food with a function, such as those with high protein content, immunity-boosting properties, antioxidants, probiotics and more. The data suggests 63% of consumers see these foods as healthier than those without any specific nutritional function—and would be more likely to buy them.

But are those stated preferences translating on an operational level? There, the answer is less clear. Baby...

Ideas and Innovation
phone bed call sick

We make people call and directly talk to their boss or supervisor if they are reporting an absence for a shift. While it is more cumbersome, it is a conscious decision. We have adapted and implemented electronic methods to obtain efficiencies in just about every other functional area, except for electronic absence reporting systems. The direct supervisor can put more pressure on an employee to show up—especially those with some form of the “Super Bowl plague”—than any electronic system can.

Menu Development
ranch dressing chicken fingers

While salad bars are often the first place K-12 operators look to incorporate more fresh produce, few go as far as making their own salad dressings. But last fall, in a continuing effort to transition from prepackaged meals to an all-scratch menu, Mark Augustine, executive chef of culinary and nutrition services for Minneapolis Public Schools, switched to concocting four varieties in-house—ranch, Caesar, Italian and Asian vinaigrette. The move, designed to eliminate artificial ingredients and lower fat and sodium, presented the biggest challenge when it came to ranch dressing, the school-...

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