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MenuDirections 2013 Day 2: Recipe Revamp, Reducing Added Sugar & Steal This Healthy Idea

Celebrity chefs, dietitians, healthy ideas and a butchered pig are the stars of Day 2.

The second day of conference was an action-packed day full of celebrity chefs (Jet Tila), health experts (Dr. James Painter and his Power Panel), healthy ideas worth stealing and the all-new 30 Minute Universities.

Breakfast on day two featured a Pain Perdue with Golden Raisins, made by Chef Todd downs for the California Raisin Marketing Board.

Clear Springs Foods serves smoked trout breakfast burritos to David Hill, of the University of New Hampshire.

Celebrity chef Jet Tila, managing partner, manager food and beverage at The Charleston in Santa Monica, Calif., kicks the morning off with a cooking demonstration designed to take two comfort foods and make them a little bit healthier. The presentation started with classic Thai curry. Tila was able to reduce calories by substituting tofu for beef and cut salt by using aromatics as flavor boosters. The second dish was chicken friend steak, mashed potatoes and gravy. To decrease calories, Tila used cornmeal flour and cornstarch instead of pure flour for the dredge for the chicken. He also used skim milk for the gravy instead of cream and made a slurry with water and flour to add thickness. All these changes shaved off 471 calories from this classic Southern favorite.

Chef Tila also provides the attendees with plenty of laughs during his presentation.

The second general session of the day features MenuDirections favorite Dr. James Painter, R.D., chair, school of family and consumer sciences at Eastern Illinois University. This year, Painter brought along Tara Gidus, M.S., R.D., CSSD, LD/N, of Tara Gidus Nutrition Consulting, and Marie Spano, M.S., R.D./LD, FISSN, CSCS, of Marie Spano Nutrition Consulting, for a power panel that looked at sugar as a friend and sugar as a foe.

Painter said that the important thing to remember with sugar is that the more added sugar your body takes in, the fewer nutrients you take in. So sugar is a foe when it replaces other nutrients. 

Tara Gidus, M.S., R.D., CSSD, LD/N, of Tara Gidus Nutrition Consulting, says figs and raisins retain more nutrients when they are dried than dried cranberries. Dried cranberries have six times the sugar as a fresh cranberry. 

Marie Spano, M.S., R.D./LD, FISSN, CSCS, of Marie Spano Nutrition Consulting, speaks about how dried fruits are excellent during exercise, especially for athletes.

During the three concurrent Steal This Healthy Idea sessions, attendees were given the opportunity to share their best health and wellness ideas. Here Jessica Soden, R.D., manager of food and nutrition at St. Joseph's Women's Hospital in Tampa, Fla., shares an idea to decrease monotiny of food choices for patients with a long length of stay.

Ginnie Dunleavy, director of RISD Dining at Rhode Island School of Design, speaks about how her department has added salad as a breakfast option, which is especially attractive to Asian students who are used to eating salad for a morning meal.

Peter Burgess, executive chef at MetroHealth System in Parma, Ohio, shares a healthy idea worth stealing.

The vendor fair lunch offers more delicious food on day two.

The Hormel team serves attendees and answeres questions about its pork products.

A chicken wing bar, with a variety of sauces, offers some heat at the Texas Pete booth.

During the Raising the Bar on Pasta—Best Practices 30-Minute University, Suzanne Maxwell, foodservice manager for Barilla Foodservice, speaks about her company's partnership with Kevin D'Onofrio, food service director at West Point, to review what a well-executed pasta bar can do for foodservice operations.

At the Beef--It's Slow Good: How Braising Provides Innovative Menu Solutions Without Breaking the Bank 30-Minute University, Dave Zino, executive chef for The National Cattlemen's Beef Association, demonstrates how one affordable, value cut from the chuck eye can be used in a broad range of menu applications.

The team from Nestlé Professional team up with Al Caldiero, director of food and nutrition services at Strong Memorial Hospital, to showcase how they helped with the hospital's  major retail operation renovation. 

The buzz of the conference came from the Pork: From Whole Hog to the Menu 30-Minute University, where Stephen E. Gerike, director of food service marketing for the National Pork Board, taught attendees how to butcher a pig into recognizable foodservice cuts of pork.

Rich Burlingame, of Great River Medical Center, takes in day two's sessions.

The Profitable Sushi Made Simple with Sushi Bob 30-Minute University, offers attendees the chance to learn about King & Prince's new sushi kits. Sushi Bob himself, Bob Ellis, senior director of sales for King & Prince Seafood, and Chef Joe Miller, product development chef, presented the concept.

The King & Prince team even invited operators, such as Gordon Lippe, of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, to try out the product and roll their own sushi.

Lippe's finished product.


Michael O’Donnell, national account sales manager and corporate executive chef for the TW Garner Food Co., cooks up some flavor with Texas Pete Hot Suace during the The Texas Pete School of Heat 30-Minute University.

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