Culinary Workshops (Choose 1 of 3)
From the latest flavors to trending preparation methods, tune up your menu with ideas, insights and inspiration from these targeted educational workshops.
Many of us are chefs because we don’t like following rules. Flaunting the rules can help make sandwiches killer. Killer sandwiches aren’t necessarily huge; they’re just delicious. Killer means creating combinations of flavors, textures and aromas that a person who does follow rules wouldn’t imagine. It means going beyond two slices of bread into unexplored carriers. In this session, we’ll explore the basic components of a sandwich including carriers, sauces, proteins and veggies and then reimagine what they can look like and how they interact with each other. We’ll create so virtual combinations by selecting components from long lists of choices to bring back to our own kitchens to recreate; and we’ll taste a couple of sandwiches that we think push the boundaries of convention, and will appeal to your clientele.
Consumers are continuing to move toward plant-forward eating. This session explores the latest trends driving the plant-forward movement impacting your operation. From shifting consumer eating patterns, next-gen health and wellness notions, and emerging flavors and inspirations from around the world - we’ll review the important role lentils play in satisfying your customer’s interest in plant-forward menu items. Join this exciting session to identify how to offer and execute your plant-forward strategy harnessing the craveability and plant-power of lentils. Through the eyes of consumer data and a culinary demonstration, we will explore flavor-building strategies and on-trend applications of lentils in plant-animal blends and power bowls.
These days, hungry people on-the-go want quick and easy, but also demand food that is on trend, nourishing and flavorful. As lifestyles become more hectic and an increasing number of people eat away from home, operators are expanding their menu offerings to provide options that can be enjoyed how, when and where people want to enjoy them; that's where Smithfield can help. With our vast portfolio of Smithfield cooked products, you can create a quality dining experience in minutes. We will demonstrate how to incorporate unique trend insights, assisting you in creating global dishes that invoke an unforgettable experience for your customers “on the go”.
General SessionLocation: Capitol Ballroom
Sustainability is the responsibility of all members of the food community, from farmers and laborers to foodservice operators and consumers. How does noncommercial foodservice fit in? What is its unique responsibility and contribution to the growth of the sustainable agriculture community?
Best-in-class noncommercial operators discuss how they further a sustainable mission in their operations, including strategies, return-on-investment, and innovative, outside-the-box practices.
Culinary CompetitionLocation: Georgia Hall 6
It’s not as cutthroat as Iron Chef but not quite as genteel as The Great British Bake Off. It’s MenuDirections’ 7th annual Culinary Competition, where noncommercial chefs prepare delicious dishes from a mystery basket of ingredients, all to the tune of a ticking countdown clock. Don’t miss the excitement as your peers compete for great prizes and, most importantly, bragging rights!
Culinary Workshops (Choose 1 of 3)
What was once a trend toward more plant-based menus is now the new normal. Millennials and the emerging Gen Z’s are now the dominant influencers on menu strategy. They are demanding more plant-based options at home, where they attend school and where they work. Join the Rich’s Foodservice team, along with the culinary educators from the Humane Society of the United States Forward Food program, as they show you some deliciously innovative new ingredients that can help you re-invent your menu with delicious plant-based options.
New channels have emerged in foodservice to meet rapidly evolving consumer demands for convenient, delicious food. This session will explore those emerging channels, from micromarkets to meal kits, fresh vending to food trucks, and more. It will uncover how consumers are using these emerging segments, why the segments are appealing, what we can learn from them, and how it can be applied across other foodservice segments.
Consumers are getting more adventurous about experimenting with global flavors and ingredients—a cue for operators to dig deeper into ethnic cuisines on the menu. The Technomic 2018 Ethnic Food and Beverage Consumer Trend Report reveals that 24% of consumers are trying more unique types of ethnic foods and beverages now than two years ago. That number rises to 35% for 18-34 year-olds. Bob Sewall, EVP of Sales & Marketing from Blount Fine Foods will talk ethnic trends and how the foodservice industry needs to take note to accommodate the ever changing pallets of their consumers. Bob will walk through some new flavors that the Culinary team of Blount Fine Foods have been working on, from Mexican Street Corn to Indian Inspired Tandori Cauliflower side, this workshop is one for the senses!
Foodservice Operation of the Year Awards DinnerLocation: Capitol Ballroom
Recognizing the 12 winners of the Foodservice Operation of the Month as well as the winners of the Annual MenuDirections Culinary Competition. We cap off the night by announcing the Foodservice Operator of the Year for 2018.
The only culinary, business-building and networking event for all noncommercial segments.Request an Invitation
The ingredients and flavors trending at independent restaurants often inspire menu ideas at more mainstream operations. To track what’s happening now in food and beverage, Technomic examined more than 50 menus from indies across the U.S., ranging from food trucks to fine-dining destinations.
Despite a historic drop in unemployment, foodservice operators enjoyed a slight slowdown in employee turnover midsummer, with the data signaling the dawn of a trend rather than a pause from years of acceleration, according to new research.