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J&W Takes First Place with Black, Blue and a Gold Standard

Monday, 05 April 2010 17:59

By Brent T. Frei

food4_april10The fourth-annual Student Culinology® Competition at RCA’s 2010 conference exemplified the blending of culinary art and food science.

An enthusiastic student team from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., took first-place honors, along with a $5,000 cash award and industry-wide recognition as rising stars in food-product development, at the fourth-annual Student Culinology® Competition, March 18 during the Research Chefs Association (RCA) 2010 conference & Culinology® Expo at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix. The award was presented at the 2010 RCA Annual Luncheon on March 20.

"Whole Health” to Guide the Way We Eat

Monday, 05 April 2010 18:00

By Brent T. Frei

food3_april10The keynoter at the recent RCA Conference & Culinology Expo also said lowering sodium will be the next big health issue among Americans, mushrooms are a vitamin D “powerhouse,” and not every olive oil offers equal benefits.

More than 1,200 attendees at this year’s Research Chefs Association Conference & Culinology Expo in Phoenix, March 17-20, heard keynoter Clare M. Hasler, Ph.D., executive director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Environmental Services at the University of California-Davis, speak to prevailing food trends as they pertain to health and wellness.

Hasler launched her presentation by looking back at past decades and Americans’ attitudes toward nutrition and health. The 1950s approach was prayer; the 1960s were marked by support groups and cabbage soup to aid weight loss. Diet pills reigned in the 1970s, and the Scarsdale Diet in the 1980s. We watched our fat consumption in the 1990s, and switched to counting carbs in the early-2000s. Americans today, Hasler said, are interested in whole-health eating: moving away from highly processed foods in lieu of whole foods.

The Casualization Trend

Monday, 05 April 2010 17:52

By Brent T. Frei

food2_april10Successful operations today communicate flavor, attitude and spirit, and are using less-expensive ingredients far more than before. Say hello to serving lunch on the loading dock, and goodbye to the toque.

At ACF’s Central Regional Conference in Indianapolis, March 26, Chef Gerry Ludwig of Gordon Food Service based in Grand Rapids, Mich., presented on the “megatrend” of casualization, particularly “upscaled flavor with humble ingredients,” to a packed room.

Ludwig’s chief job is to analyze consumer dining trends. “It’s a huge misconception that half of all meals are in foodservice,” he said. “Nearly three-quarters of all meals are prepared at home.” In 2009, only 19% of meals were served in foodservice outlets, according to NPD Group. “If you’re a full-service restaurant, the number of times a diner chooses places like yours is very infrequent.”

Building Vegetarian Entrées

Monday, 05 April 2010 17:44

By Jackie Schulz

food1_april10Create protein combinations that are low in saturated fat, high in fiber and from a mix of sources to get a “complete” protein.

According to a 2008 “Vegetarianism in America” study collected by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau and published by the Vegetarian Times, 3.2% of U.S. adults, or 7.3 million people, follow a vegetarian-based diet. Another 10% described their diet as “mostly vegetarian,” making them, in today’s lexicon, a “flexitarian”—those who follow a vegetarian diet some of the time. That prevalence makes having vegetarian options a necessity in any foodservice venue.

McCormick® Unveils 10th Anniversary Flavor Forecast™

Saturday, 27 February 2010 14:34

food3_march10Milestone report features top 10 flavor pairings and leading trends that will define 2010.

The flavor experts at Hunt Valley, Md.-based McCormick have teamed up with leading chefs, food bloggers and other culinary authorities to identify the top 10 flavor pairings and key trends that are poised to shape the way we eat in the year ahead. The McCormick® Flavor Forecast™ 2010 marks a milestone: It’s the 10th anniversary of prolific flavor reports from the industry leader.

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