How do you use family recipes at your operation?

paneer curry

Our home kitchen is the testing ground for a multitude of recipes, as both my husband and I are chefs. The most popular dish I serve at work, taken from my grandmother’s kitchen, is Bavarian-style sauerkraut. She would make this into a complete meal with sausages, potatoes and brown bread. I have simplified the process using apple juice, caraway seeds and bacon. This is the twist that makes our reuben sandwich a favorite over the winter months. 

—Janna Traver McCann
Executive chef/assistant director
KU Dining Services
University of Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas

My sous chef Sundara Mani has adapted a lamb curry and an alternate meatless version of paneer curry that gets lines out the door every time we put it in the menu rotation—which is almost weekly now. It is adapted from his family’s own traditional Masala.

—Eric Eisenberg
Corporate executive chef/retail operations manager
Swedish Health Services

I took inspiration from a Dungeness crab bisque recipe that has been in my family for years. Our family owns property in the San Juan Islands, which provided us access to fresh crab during the summer months. My passion for local seafood helped in our development of the Northwest Dock station, which opened this past year in our Café 83.  The station features the bisque, plus seasonal and local fresh seafood, such as Lummi Island salmon and chowders made from scratch.

—Craig Tarrant
Director of culinary operations
Compass Group supporting Microsoft Real Estate and Facilities
Redmond, Wash.

Since we are a smaller facility, we have had a good time giving our guests lots of home cooking, from pot pie and pot roast to wild rice soup and tater-tot hotdish (it’s an upper Midwest thing). Since they are things most people in these parts have eaten since childhood, it’s been fun to bring our guests back in time for one meal.

—Pierre Genereux
Sous chef
Interlude Restorative Suites at Benedictine Health System
St. Paul, Minn.

We are fortunate to have chef Stacy Chesney leading our culinary department at Swan Creek Retirement Village in Toledo, Ohio. Everyone knows about her famous Swan Cookies. The residents can’t get enough of them, and the marketing department orders dozens for events and meetings.

Chef Stacy has a couple of tried-and-true recipes she has brought with her from her childhood and family traditions. But her signature cookies are made with her grandmother’s dough recipe, and it’s the recipe she has used every year for Christmas cutouts since she was a little girl. It’s a family tradition now passed on to the Swan Creek Retirement Village family. 

—John Andrews
Corporate director of culinary and nutritional services
Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services, Columbus, Ohio

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