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A Postcard from FM Ideas Conference

Wish You Were Here!

What a conference! It’s been absolutely jam-packed with ideas, one after another.

Everyone here at the FM Ideas Conference in sunny Las Vegas has been networking, snacking on some wonderful sponsored treats, and of course, learning how FOOD MATTERS.

Here are just a few highlights—can’t begin to list all the great stuff here—so be sure to look for the full story in an upcoming issue of Food Management magazine!

QUOTE OF THE DAY FOR THURSDAY:

“It means a lot to Joe the Dishwasher to get a pat on the back for a job well done.”
--Jacqueline Baldwin, CEC, district chef, Sodexo Campus Services, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, on interacting with your staff.

MORE GREAT IDEAS:

Well dressed, put-together, clean, with a quick smile. What are these qualities? They are the top things to look for when hiring front-of-the-house employees, according to the Onsite Chef’s Panel this morning, which featured Baldwin, Stanley Walker of Rush University Medical Center, and Mark Dyball of Culinary Distinctions.

Yesterday, at the session Food Matters: A Flex-Plan Approach to Culinary Excellence, Virginia Tech’s Director of Housing and Dining Services Rick Johnson told us how his school restructured its meal plan into one of the best out there. “Some people say special events are a necessary evil,” Johnson said. “We say they should be spectacular and over-the-top.”

In another session on Wednesday, Food Matters: Using a Culinary Philosophy to Revitalize a Large Urban School Meal Program, we found out about the Los Angeles Unified School District. The LAUSD faces a major challenge in areas financial, nutritional and culinary as well. Director David Binkle on his school system: “We took the approach: what are we going to do to build this program?” Executive Chef Mark Baida told us about the snowballing media attention and his radio spot with Ryan Seacrest.

During a session on Thursday, we took a closer look at today’s hospital patients with Walter Thurnhofer, RD, senior director of support services at the University of Washington Medical Center, where patient dining has undergone an amazing transformation. “Patients said ‘Let me choose when I eat,’” Thurnhofer told the audience. “They want lots of variety and to select their meal in real time.”

ONE MORE QUOTE:

“The key to my success is service.”
--Chef/Restauranteur Michael Kornick of the award-winning mk restaurant in Chicago.

So…there’s your postcard from the FM Ideas Conference in Vegas. Wish you were here! And don’t forget to keep an eye on Food Management magazine for lots more ideas.

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