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baked beans
Bold spicing, including cumin, fresh ginger and chili powder, elevates baked beans from a routine side dish to an inventive accompaniment. A topping of toasted walnuts adds crunch. The recipe can easily share a plate with barbecue, fried chicken, grilled sausages and other down-home menu items.
winter squash berry salad
Nutritionists have been encouraging consumers to eat more whole grains, and foodservice operators are increasingly helping them meet that challenge. To introduced school kids to wheat berries, a more unusual grain, Chef Berdan combines them with sweet canned pears and familiar butternut squash in a...
mushroom saute
Incorporating fruit into a side not only adds extra vitamins, it gives the dish a refreshing burst of acid. Here, chef Coffey combines red and green grapes with two types of wild mushrooms, shallots and creamy goat cheese for a side that’s as comfortable with eggs at brunch as it is with roast...
chickpea fries
French fries are still the most popular way to serve potatoes across all foodservice segments, but some concepts are menuing other types of fries to offer a unique alternative. At Willow, Chef O’Grady makes a batter with chickpeas and chickpea flour, forms the mixture into sticks and fries them for...
It was a decision that brought the duo recognition at Monday night’s MenuDirections 2015 awards ceremony in Memphis, Tenn., which is part of FoodService Director magazine’s annual conference geared...
stinging nettles ball
Sides that can double as starters are an operational bonus for a restaurant. Customers can order them as an accompaniment or an appetizer, or mix and match sides and starters to make a meal of small plates. At Hinterland, Chef Van Rite likes to pair local Wisconsin ingredients, such as the stinging...
oven roasted kalettes
Kalettes are a new hybrid vegetable that’s a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale. Chef Hincks prepares them several ways for his catering events—fried, braised and oven-roasted, as pictured here. The kalettes make a nice change of pace for kale-weary customers.
baker potatoes with morels
Capitalize on consumers’ love of potatoes by offering a tater dish with a twist. Chef Hoffman elevates spuds with morels and sweet onions—a combination that complements beef, pork or poultry. Adding a luxurious ingredient to a humble vegetable can fetch a higher price tag for the side or upsell an...

MenuDirections 2015 kicked off Sunday in Memphis at The Peabody Hotel with a motivational opening presentation, two culinary workshops and the conference’s annual Dine-Around. Here are five takeaways from the event’s first day.

Although the top trends come from the restaurant side of the business, Gerry Ludwig was quick to point out implications for the noncommercial sector.

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