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FSD Culinary Council

Culinary Council: Shaping the menu

Expect at least three megatrends to hang around for another year: Roughly three out of four Culinary Council respondents say they will voluntarily add healthier comfort foods (77 percent), more plant-based dishes (74 percent) and more customization (71 percent) to the menu next year. 


Plant foods grow in creativity

“We have started a know-your-farmer program that we will continue. I also compose recipes using local and seasonal produce and post on our school website in a family-sized form in multiple languages.”

—Callie Fowler, Union Pacific Schools


“Grains with greens. We plan to add more of these in the next six months, mainly as salads.”

—Aatul Jain, St. Clare’s Health System


“We’re experimenting with vegetables in place of rice, pasta and potatoes. For example, grated cauliflower for rice, zucchini ribbons for noodles, celery root for potatoes.” 

—Jennifer M. Leamons, Stanly Regional Memorial Hospital


“German pickling methods are popular, surprisingly. We are pickling more vegetables to preserve them for
the fall school menus.”

—Eli Huff, The Salt Group


Top 10 cuisines to take off

  1. Mexiroccan (Mexican/Moroccan)
  2. Peruvian
  3. Angolan
  4. South African barbecue
  5. Russian
  6. Indian
  7. Cuban
  8. Brazilian
  9. Appalachian
  10. Tunesian

Items to try in 2016

  • Red rice
  • Asian carp
  • Duck wings
  • Curry paste
  • Za'atar spice
  • Pressed lemons
  • Jackfruit
  • Adobo
  • Persimmons
  • Fiddlehead ferns
  • Microgreens
  • Dragon fruit

Where are health trends heading in 2016?

77% No GMOs

67% Antibiotic-free

61% Gluten-free


58% of chefs see bowls as expanding in 2016


We’re working to expand our halal offerings by sourcing more meat proteins to meet guests’ requests.”

—Bill Claypool, Vanderbilt University

There’s room for healthier alternatives in the sandwich category, such as undressed grilled chicken.”

—Iraj Fernando, Southern Food Service Management

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