FSD editors share their bests

Every year we ask our readers to share the bests they’ve encountered in a variety of aspects that make up the non-commercial market. This year, we turned that around on ourselves and came up with a list of our bests from places we’ve dined and operations we’ve visited. 

Editor Becky Schilling’s Bests

Best dessert
The deconstructed s’mores at The Butcher and the Boar, in Minneapolis.

Best bar food
Fried cheese curds from Public House, in Chicago.

Best brunch item
Jambalaya and eggs, from Sugar Freak in New York City.

Best meal of 2013
A six-course tasting menu at Daniel, in New York City. I’ve never had so much good food—and wine—in one meal.

Best new food item I tried this year
Chicken wings. Now, I know what you’re thinking: An editor of a food publication has never eaten chicken wings? But hear me out. I grew up in Texas and as a child I saw my fair share of people at county fairs gnawing on turkey legs with the juice from the meat running down their arms. It thoroughly disgusted me and turned me off to eating anything that required me to eat meat off a bone. But I’ve evolved and discovered the wonderful world of chicken wings. Pass the napkins!


Editorial Director Paul Kings’ Bests

The best example of sustainability I’ve seen
In general, I am impressed with the variety of ways institutions find to grow their own. But culinary services at Kennesaw State University, in Georgia, employs an amazing number of methods to demonstrate and promote sustainability on campus—including having two mini-greenhouses in The Commons dining center to educate students about plants and growing methods.

The best example of healthier meals I’ve experienced
I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I am really impressed with what Applebee’s has done with its 500-calorie menu. The items have eye appeal, are tasty and, best of all, do not look like they have only 500 calories.

The best comfort food
For me, it’s meatloaf with mashed potatoes and carrots.

The best culinary experience I’ve had in an airport
Le Grande Comptoir, at Houston’s Bush International Airport. Several years go, while waiting for a connecting flight, I wandered over to this wine bar to escape a family with rambunctious children at my gate. I ate nothing, but had a wonderful chat with the server behind the bar and was introduced to malbec.

The best food tour I’ve been on
A 2010 tour sponsored by the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association. We saw a variety of fruit farms, saw first-hand how fruit is processed for shipping overseas, toured a winery, visited the shipping port of Valparaiso and experienced some of the warmest hospitality I’ve ever had outside of the U.S.


Associate Editor Megan Warmouth’s Bests

Best meal of 2013
The five-course meal prepared by students of Portland’s Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts during the 2013 IFEC conference.

Best dessert
Magic happened when two Chicago shops combined forces—Dazed and Infused’s red velvet donut filled with Black Dog cajeta gelato

Best pasta dish
Green Noodles Alforno (spinach fettuccine with spinach and mushrooms, topped with baked dry ricotta cheese) at Bella Notte, in Chicago

Best new restaurant I tried
Parson’s Chicken & Fish, in Chicago

Best brewery I visited
Deshutes, in Portland, Ore.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Howard County Public School System in Ellicott City, Md., will be offering free lunch to students for two days during winter break, The Baltimore Sun reports.

This is the first time the district will be providing meals over winter break. The lunch will be served on Dec. 27 and 28 at two sites in the community.

About 22.2% of the district’s students are enrolled for free or reduced-price meals. The district served 66,276 meals last summer during its summer meal program .

Read the full story via baltimoresun.com .

Industry News & Opinion

Cranston School District in Cranston, R.I., has hired a collection agency to help reduce its lunch debt , NBC 10 reports.

The district’s chief operating officer sent a letter to parents saying that the district would be using a collection agency next year to collect outstanding lunch balances after other collection methods have failed. Parents who owe $20 or more and haven’t paid in the last 60 days will receive a letter from the agency starting Jan. 2, 2019.

Cranston accumulated $95,508 in unpaid lunch balances between Sept. 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018. The district’s meal...

Ideas and Innovation
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As lunch shaming remains in the national spotlight, many school districts have turned away from providing alternate meals, such as a cheese sandwich, to students who can’t pay for lunch. While this ensures that students are provided a full meal and aren’t stigmatized, it has caused some districts to quickly accumulate lunch debt . In order to keep funds under control, school districts throughout the country are now relying on assistance from their communities to defray the cost of some meals.

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Industry News & Opinion

When looking for a way to get more use out of its Canyon Cafe, open during the weekends only, California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., tried something new: free cooking classes.

Classes are open to students, as well as faculty and staff, and are taught by Campus Dining Executive Chef Michael Albright, according to Mustang News .

The weekday classes, which are capped at 14 participants, have taught attendees how to make items such as probiotic overnight oats and “the perfect turkey.” Interested parties can sign up online via the school’s dining...

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