Features

Aug 17, 2019, 6:10

Demystifying Chocolate

Monday, 23 November 2009 13:22

By Eric Stein, M.S., R.D.

food3_nov09Cacao refers to the genus and beans; cocoa is the foundation of what we love.

One of the oldest and most celebrated foods on the planet today, chocolate was so highly prized by ancient civilizations that is was used as a form of currency. Today, it is nearly impossible to find a dessert menu that does not feature at least one chocolate-based confection.

Consumers desire chocolate for reasons including its decadence, flavor and various health benefits. Chocolate comes from the genus-species theobroma cocoa, theobroma being derived from the Greek words for “god” and “food.” Cocoa is grown on almost 30,000 square miles worldwide, in mostly temperate climates between 20° North and 20° South of the equator. Notable cocoa-producing areas include Central and South America, Indonesia and Africa. The cocoa plant produces myriad different products, but before they become the delicious food known as chocolate, the cocoa beans must go through an involved process.

Bringing Sustainability to the Table

Monday, 23 November 2009 13:18

food2_nov09This year’s Chefs Collaborative Summit, held at Kendall College, revealed big news for a growing fan base from the USDA.

Chefs Collaborative’s 2009 National Summit was held at Kendall College in Chicago, Sept. 15-16, drawing chefs and media nationwide with a commitment to ecological sustainability in foodservice to the campus for the Boston-based nonprofit’s annual meeting. Keynoter Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo fame broke away from his new restaurant, XOCO, to stress the importance of small, sustainable, family-owned businesses to the lifeblood of a town or neighborhood to an enthusiastic audience of nearly 150.

Restaurant Menus to Focus on Quality, not Just Cost, in 2010

Monday, 23 November 2009 13:13

food1_nov09Flavors in high demand next year will include cardamom, hibiscus and sweet potato, says Mintel

How do you follow up a wild year of $5 menus, gourmet meals for paupers' prices and buy-one-get-one restaurant specials? You return to quality, that's how. Mintel Menu Insights, a service that tracks U.S. menu trends, releases five predictions for 2010, saying the restaurant industry will focus on high-quality food and ingredients to lure in diners.

Culinology Match Test

Monday, 01 June 2009 00:05

The third-annual Student Culinology® Competition at RCA’s 2009 conference exemplified the blending of culinary art and food science.

An enthusiastic student team from University of Cincinnati took first-place honors, along with a $5,000 cash award and industry-wide recognition as rising stars in food-product development, at the third-annual Student Culinology® Competition, May/June 7, during the Research Chefs Association’s (RCA) 2009 conference at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. The award was presented by Agnes Jones, principal culinologist at National Starch Food Innovation, at the 2009 RCA Annual Luncheon, where nearly 500 food-product-development professionals gather each year to celebrate industry achievements.

The competition is designed to challenge and recognize the industry’s young talent in the Culinology field–the blending of culinary arts and food science.

The winning team from UC was led by faculty advisor Christopher Keegan, CEC, senior research chef at Cargill Flavor Systems, and team leader Christian A. Serrato, CC. Team members included Robert Coltrane, CC, John Parsons, CC, and Andrew Scholle, CC.

Eighteen Students with Sharp Knives

Monday, 01 June 2009 23:59
By Allison Shaskan, M.A., CSCE, El Centro College

What do you do when one student takes charge, and the others stand around talking?

I am a chef-educator at El Centro College, a regional two-year community college located in the South. As my culinary program “lives” within a larger college, we admit all students no matter their cooking ability.

This means that on the first day in the kitchen I have 18 students in new uniforms waiting for instruction. Some have worked for years in professional kitchens, some have extensive experience in home kitchens, and some have never turned a stove on to boil water.