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.
It was my great luck to be in Tampa, Florida, from March 3-5 to attend MenuDirections 2013. This much anticipated conference for non-commercial operators includes a stellar lineup of speakers, workshops, chef demos and more. But I was luckier still to be asked to be one of five judges for the first-ever Culinary Competition.
It’s not a routine conference when the speaker reaches for the severed pig’s head on the counter and lifts off the face, explaining he’d carved it free earlier so he’d have time to saw apart the carcass that’d been parted from the skull (“The brain’s still in there, but that’s okay.”)
Celebrity chef Jet Tila demonstrated the ease of removing calories, fat and salt from popular dishes during a cooking demo at MenuDirections, but not all of his instruction can be revealed here, this being a family blog.