Pastry competitions,  culinary competitions,  and 24/7 food network challenges are cropping up all over the place.  Chefs, food service directors, culinary professionals within the every market segment have heard that people’s tastes are evolving, people want more and better products and it has transcended to  the healthcare and the college and universe market segments.  I have seen the competitions increase and have given witness to these competitions elevating their status within the food world .  The purpose is to the find the best and  to show that innovation, creativity and inspiration is alive and  a new generate of recipes, fusion of flavors and ingredients for their environment, for their patients, and customers.

As new ingredients crop into mainstream America and acceptance is favorable, people are looking for different ways to incorporate them into menus.  Foodservice is embracing these new items, flavors and incorporating them into regular diets, special menus, retail healthcare environment.  Everyone wants flavors of today with infused traditional items and techniques.

The most simple example sushi part of a healthcare retail environment, seaweed part of a regular menu items served in cafeterias, and garlic leeks are seeping their way into omelets, and so on. 

Beyond changes in the competitive landscape there is a shift in customer behavior. To differentiate your business, you have the show the customer solutions that will increase loyalty and increase your bottom line.

At the AHF conference in June there was a session called, “The Culinary Champions Design Tomorrow’s Menu,” sponsored by Alluserv. Three Culinary Competition gold medal award-winning chefs discussed innovative trends, ideas and inspiration on how to creatively enhance a savory menu. Trends include emphasis on  international cuisine ingredients and techniques that are being meshed into patient and retail menus. Among the cuisine are Korean and Asian enthused flavor ambiance and contemporary techniques. The Chefs agree that designing a menu that is both fun and fresh, but also flavorful to use anywhere in the United States.”

Also during this year’s  AHF conference, five chefs along with their food service directors from self-operated healthcare foodservices in the United States, competed in the Culinary Competition where finalists had to deliver not only a creatively inspired dish but a delectable one, to be added on the healthcare care menu of today and tomorrow..

Competitions and culinary workshops participation help  to elevate the menus in these market segments to gain greater satisfaction.

Another associations for colleges and university, NACUFS has regional and annual culinary competitions to generate ideas, solutions, revenue for their operations.  The Culinary Challenge provides recognition to college and university culinary professionals in a venue where they can exhibit culinary talents, techniques, and regional food styles.  Contestants chosen in regional culinary challenge competitions prepare four portions of an original hot entrée as part of a live action competition. 

Competition breeds ideas, and internet resources such as chef blogs, ask the expert,  quantity recipe sites, LinkedIn culinary groups, chef associations nurture those ideas and help the visualization on how to incorporate into your environments to nourish your customers and feed the food soul.

How are you reigniting the fusion of flavor and ingredients in your operation?



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