Victor Gielisse used white water rafting as a metaphor for the current environment foodservice operators find themselves in today. “It’s unpredictable and requires a totally different type of teamwork and focus in an organization,” said Gielisse, CMC, associate vice president of The Culinary Institute of America.
The food megatrends Gielisse touched upon to give operators the edge in a very competitive new world were: globalization of the menu, healthfulness and food ethics.
A new influx of immigration, an increased appetite for excitement and variety have combined with the impact of food television and other media to create the perfect storm for global cuisine, he said, declaring that the idea that “the plate is flat” is no longer a viable approach. Operators instead need to look broadly at international culinary traditions and adapt them for today’s menus.
In place of French culinary mainstays like demi glace, butter and baguettes, Gielisse said, we are now seeing mole, olive oil and tandoor. Operators searching for authenticity would do well to tap the expertise of the often ethnically diverse staff, he said.