Culinary event focuses on health, produce’s role

01/21/2010 10:57:35 AM
Ashley Bentley

Recipe ideas that emerged during the retreat were inspired by supplier sponsors, who donated product and were on-site to talk with foodservice companies about their programs. The sponsors included:

  • National Peanut Board;
  • Mexican Hass Avocados Importers Association;
  • Almond Board of California;
  • California Raisin Marketing Board;
  • The Mushroom Council;
  • Western Pistachio Association;
  • Produce for Better Health Foundation;
  • Taylor Farms; and
  • Chilean blueberries.

But the main purpose of the even wasn’t really felt until the stadium-seated auditorium and teaching kitchen started to fill with the smell of why everyone was there — the food.

Chefs Suvir Saran of Devi in New York, Joyce Goldstein, a chef, author and consultant, and James Sanchez of Acenar in San Antonio, gave their takes on how to make tasty food healthier.

Goldstein used spinach greens in a one-pot meal she called pasta en zemino with seafood, greens, garlic and hot pepper.

“Italians are in love with beans and greens,” Goldstein said.

Saran spoke about the role peppers can play in dishes, whether to provide heat, or sometimes to play a milder role. He seeded and veined a chile while discussing the issue.

“You want the smell of the pepper more than the heat,” Saran said, moving into vegetables’ important nutritional qualities. “In India, we never eat Metamucil, we rely on vegetable fiber.”

Attendees closed each evening with a sponsor reception, where they got to taste dishes prepared with sponsors’ products and find inspiration for their own role in foodservice.

Walter Willett of Harvard speaks to the audience about nutrition, public health and foodservice.


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