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3 trends chefs are watching

In Denver, especially, the local trend is huge. Not just local companies, but what some of us are calling “hyperlocal,” using vendors and companies that use local sourcing inside their products. Many times companies are local, but getting products shipped from all over the United States or the world, finding products that use local grains, local oil manufacturers, even purchasing the shipping boxes from a local company makes a huge difference in quality and environmental impact. Sourcing out the right products and balancing the give and take is always hard, but allowing local companies who support other local businesses builds a better community all around.

- John Krause
Executive Chef
Children's Hospital Colorado
Aurora, Colo.

I feel if we can reduce front-of-house labor like (fast-casual restaurants) Urban Plates or Lemonade, that would be huge. I work in a senior living environment and full service is very important. With the rising cost of labor in California, any reduction in labor is welcome. This would require new equipment and may not be possible at our location—however, new startups should consider the benefits. We may try to expand our to-go service in the future.

- Shawn Noack
Food and Beverage Director
Morningside of Fullerton
Fullerton, Calif.

Restaurant trends are hard to mimic in K-12 applications. However, I try to include the flavors when we can. For example, we have developed a recipe for a Thai beef salad and a recipe for a Thai ranch dressing to include ethnic flavors in our rotation. Another farm-to-table nod is roasting vegetables and incorporating fresh local produce on our Garden Bars. We will include fresh flowers in our lettuce mix the first day of spring, to celebrate and show the kids that flowers are edible! A local vendor is supplying us with the flowers.

- Stephanie Dyehouse
Assistant Food Service Supervisor of Culinary Development
Cincinnati Public Schools
Cincinnati

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