It’s hard to believe, but it’s been six months since I joined the team at Food Management. Back in November, I set my goals for FM, some of which I wrote about in my editor’s letter in January. Now, I’m excited to share some of the projects you’ll be seeing from us shortly, if you haven’t seen them already.
The first is our emphasis on food, or what I like to call putting the food back in Food Management. We’ve revamped our food section, tailoring existing sections and creating new ones. Our food coverage is anchored by our food feature, where we give an in-depth dive into a single topic, including daypart strategies, building a menu or a single item (take this month’s story, salmon, as an example). The next column in our food section is Menu Mix, where we focus on a different cuisine, either international or regional American, each month.
Both the food feature and Menu Mix will focus on chefs and operators who are doing innovative things with that month’s topic. These pages highlight best practices, offer advice for working with a certain product, give tips to make a cuisine authentic or apply a creative twist on a menu item.
The third leg in our food section is a new column, Mise en Place. As the name suggests, this column helps chefs and cooks set the stage for cooking a great meal. The page focuses on culinary skills, technique and the science of cooking. This page is tip-heavy, offering advice straight from the industry’s very best. Because the noncommercial industry has such a vast array of workers—from the first-time college student foodservice employee to a Certified Executive Chef—it’s imperative that operators have the tools to teach best practices for all staff members, no matter their skill set. This page offers just that.
And if you’re a chef looking for something cool to try in the kitchen, you’ll find this page particularly helpful. For example, this month’s inaugural column, goes into the art of smoking with peanut shells.
But there’s more to Food Management than food. My noncommercial peeps like to have fun—and so do we. So when the NCAA Basketball Tournament came around, we decided to create our own version. We took the top two seeds in each region (eight teams total) and asked them to tell us about their best dish. That could be the biggest seller, the most innovative or the one that represented the university the best. We shared those descriptions and photos online and opened up voting to the public. After three rounds of voting, in which we narrowed the field from eight to four to two and, finally, a winner, Villanova’s Café Nova Spinach and Mushroom Flatbread came out on top, edging the University of Kansas’ Brella’s Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap.
We had an inkling that this would be a fun way for college dining programs to get involved with the student body and athletics, but we were, quite frankly, shocked by the reaction—more than 50,000 votes were cast!
The last thing I want to draw your attention to is a new look to our website, Food-Management.com. We’ve refreshed the site to be easier to navigate and find all the content you’ve come to know FM for. Foodservice is such a visual industry, and we take full advantage of the Web to showcase that visual artistry. Online you’ll find galleries of renovated locations, new operations, and food, food and more food. Our refreshed site also makes it easier to find recipes to try, read the latest headlines in foodservice and stay connected with FM and other readers through social media.
So check us out and let me know what you think.