PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS:
WINNER: RESTAURANT ASSOCIATES AT THE WORLD BANK
ENTRY: CULINARY AUTHENTICITY
THE BIG IDEA: When your customer base represents more than 185 countries and includes ambassadors and other dignitaries, you'd better have a diverse and authentic menu. And that is what Restaurant Associates, which operates the dining, conferencing, catering and retail services at the World Bank Group in Washington, DC, faces every day.
The menu at MC Café is exemplary and representative of the effort. The dining outlet offers customers a choice of 16 food stations. They include South Asia/African, Pacific Rim, Noodle Bowl, Mediterranean Flatbreads, Balanced Choices, and Good Station, which offers premium free-range chicken, farm-raised beef and local organic vegetables. There is also a Global station where five cuisines rotate: Portugese, Vietnamese, Sri-Lankan, Regional American and tapas, each overseen by a chef with expertise in that cuisine.
Enhancing the diversity of the offerings is a program called Heritage Days, in which RA partners with different embassies and their chefs to feature a weeklong promotion. The onsite culinary team works with the embassy-appointed chefs to learn about the specific ingredients and preparation techniques needed to prepare the featured dishes in an authentic way.