When "wow" is not enough
“Corporate dining chefs have a unique opportunity; we have a captive audience working right above us or right beside us,” Concepcion says. “I want to seize that opportunity and provide a dining experience that makes them go back to their desk and say, ‘Wow.’ But that’s not enough. I want them to say ‘WOW! I can’t believe I just had a truffled mushroom burger with melted ricotta, sautéed shiitake mushrooms on a toasted brioche roll with hand-cut Kennebec fries.”
Truffled mushroom burger
Here’s that beyond-wow burger, complete with a pickled jalapeno on top.
The OMGoodness burger
Continuing his deep dive into the better-burger trend, Concepcion created this OMGoodness burger, a hand-formed patty with béchamel, melted Gruyere, crimini mushrooms and a fried onion ring for good measure.
Concepcion was quick to order his favorite ingredients, like these San Marzano-style tomatoes, which he likes for their lower acidity and sweeter flavor.
Time to brine
No shortcuts: Making brines, rubs and marinades from scratch is another way Concepcion is bringing the flavor.
Starting the day right
Table 29 serves most employees twice a day, starting with breakfast. On top of classic grab-and-go breakfast staples like oatmeal and granola, Concepcion has added a parfait bar, protein pancakes, a new omelet station and breakfast crepes with fillings like chocolate ganache and even chilaquiles (crunchy tortillas and chili peppers).
Breakfast salmon sandwich
Fried capers, roasted tomatoes, fresh spinach and a whole-grain bun make this traditional combo stand out.
There’s also a new pizza station, and that means calzones, stromboli, meatball subs, lasagna, personal pizzas and pizza by the slice, all made from scratch.
Chicken pesto pizza
Other pizzas have included a bold anchovy-olive pizza that Concepcion referred to as “an acquired taste,” on his Instagram account. He also shares specials with employees on Workplace, a private social platform supported by Facebook.
Ahi tuna burger
This super fancy fish sandwich sold out fast as a lunch special.
Waterfront Fish concept
This concept gives employees the option of mahi, grouper, cod, tuna, salmon, swordfish and more, with a choice of seasonings and cooking methods.
Great wall of donuts
This donut wall with fresh fruit skewers was done for a catered event. One of Concepcion’s goals is to grow the catering business, he says.
Making bone broth for pho
Going all out to build the foundations of flavor, Concepcion started simmering broth for his pho concept almost immediately after reporting to work his first day.
The pho concept is called Beauti-pho, and Concepcion worked with the Sam’s Club marketing team to create promotional materials and a logo.
Condiments for pho
Pho lovers can’t live without the right pho fixin’s.
This is an on-trend dessert that can go with many flavors. Concepcion is planning more unique special menu items, themed pop-up events, holiday meals and more. Speaking by hashtag, he says, “my new hashtag and words I live by when creating new concepts and menus is #changingthewayyoucorporatedine.” Well said!