MenuDirections News

Keynoter Gerry Ludwig took attendees of MenuDirections on a virtual culinary tour Monday, recounting the new directions he spotted while visiting 92 trend-shaping restaurants in three cities during a stretch of 17 business days.

MenuDirections 2014 got off to a rousing start with the opening of the General Session by Dr. Pamela Allison, Ph.D. and associate professor of the Hospitality College at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, N.C. Dr. Allison gave the crowd of over 200 foodservice directors insights on what to expect from today’s graduates of four-year culinary and hospitality programs.

A conference for the menu planners at colleges, hospitals, nursing homes and other so-called non-commercial venues provides restaurateurs with rich food for thought.

It’s a wrap on day one of MenuDirections 2014. Conferences are always a great place to network and meet new people. It’s also great for sharing your successes—and struggles—and getting some valuable advice from fellow directors.

I am so ready to be over this snowy, frigid winter. Fortunately, I get a bit of a respite this weekend, when I travel to Charlotte, N.C., where the daytime temperatures are expected to be in the 60s.

During the past few years, we have documented numerous examples of the whole “locavore” movement, as foodservice operators attempt to reduce their carbon footprints and bring more fresh food to their customers.

Well, the dust has settled on what just might be our best MenuDirections conference ever. Despite—or, perhaps, aided by—the less-than-optimum weather in Tampa, our more than 200 attendees said they had a great time learning and networking.