A taco featuring a mushroom and ground beef blend won first place for the Mushroom Council in the Chef Demo Challenge at the Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Conference.
Culinary Institute of America chef Doug Goettsch cooked the tacos at the annual competition July 21 in Monterey, Calif., whose theme this year was healthy and flavorful children’s menus.
The San Jose-based council’s recipe used an equal mix of white mushrooms and 80% lean ground beef in the blend, according to a news release.
The week before the Monterey event, School Nutrition Association annual conference attendees in Denver sampled the blend in a meatball recipe from the National Food Service Management Institute.
The Mushroom Council is touting the concept of swapping some meat content for mushrooms as a way to help meet U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition standards requiring schools to serve vegetables daily at lunch and reduce sodium and calories.
“If we are to meet PMA’s goal to increase produce usage in foodservice by 2020 as well as the new school nutrition meal pattern, we need to not just deliver nutrition, but provide simple, tasty alternatives,” Bart Minor, council president, said in the release.