chefneil

Foodies,

On Saturday, May 17, I met with Air Force Brigadier General (select) Patrick Doherty, the Director of U.S. Air Force Food Service at Kraft Headquarters in Chicago. There were representatives from all five branches of the military present as well as the Assistant Secretary of Defense. At the event, I gave a Food Cost Control seminar to an enthusiastic group of military culinary specialists that highlighted three key points:

• How to manage portion control by using the proper tools;
• the importance of advanced preparation techniques and pre-staging to avoid overproduction; and
• 100 percent utilization of produce ingredients to increase yield and reduce food waste.

The students were selected from various bases across the country for their professionalism, teamwork and outstanding food service achievements. They were invited to Chicago for the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show and Military Awards Banquet hosted by the NRA Military Foundation.

Sysco Corporation is a proud sponsor of the NRA Military Foundation whose mission is to link industry and educators with military foodservice personnel to improve feeding operations, share industry best practices and increase awareness of industry career opportunities after leaving the military. Overall we had a great turnout and the time was very well spent with an excellent response from both the students and leadership. This was an absolutely fantastic experience and we’re looking forward to working closely with the NRA Military Foundation in the future. How truly exhilarating to be able to give back to those who have done so much for the U.S.!

Cheers and have a flavorful day!

Chef Neil Doherty

Sr. Director of Culinary Development

chefneil

Foodies,

Summer is finally here, and what better time to take a road trip? In this issue’s “Regional Road Trip,” we are really proud to be featuring a few of our outstanding Sysco customers and chefs from the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast. We invite you to travel with us to these regions for some local flavors and look for the continuation of our road trip this fall as we move westward. No matter where we are in the country, there’s endless inspiration provided by the community businesses and chefs alike.

Culinary innovation is always a common theme at Sysco, and this summer we’re firing up our grills in preparation for some inventive new items. In a collaborative effort, Dr Pepper®, John Soules Foods and Sysco developed a line of Dr Pepper® branded and flavored products that are first to the market, including heat and serve pulled pork, chicken strips for fajitas and BBQ chicken wings. See page 11 of the Summer 2014 issue of ChefRef® Foodie for a preview!

Right now I’m also really excited about broadening my horizons with ethnic foods such as Middle-Eastern and African cuisines. It’s interesting to take ingredients these cultures have used for centuries and incorporate them into everyday applications. Take “skhug” for example. It’s a Middle-Eastern spicy sauce that contains red, green and hot peppers, garlic, coriander and various other spices. It’s great on shawarmas, served as a condiment with pita or other breads and more. Check out page 18 for more other great ideas for incorporating ethnic flavors on your menu.

Lastly, summer is a time when we really embrace our strong relationships with growers, ranchers, processors, foodservice peers and influencers. Sysco is working on a lot of cool new products like sustainable rice, grass-fed beef and other healthy food initiatives. These will further reinforce our commitment to ensuring a reliable and safe supply of food for our customers.

Enjoy all the recipes, tips and trends in this issue of ChefRef® Foodie Magazine.

Cheers and have a flavorful day!

Chef Neil Doherty

Sr. Director of Culinary Development

chefneil

Foodies,

It is with great pleasure that I write my first introduction to ChefRef® Foodie. Over the past year, the Sysco Culinary Team has been doing BIG things and we love sharing our wealth of knowledge with you. We’re not the only experts though… I can’t thank our community of chefs and restaurant owners enough for continually contributing their expertise and experiences to reach one common goal: SUCCESS!

With the new year upon us, I’m most excited about introducing our inaugural 2014 Food Trend Predictions. Every day in test kitchens across the country, our team of 120 chefs are searching for innovative ideas, and we’ve narrowed them down to give you our predictions.

Here are a few of my favorites…

> Root Vegetables ~ Creating spins on the vegetables we disliked as kids such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and beets.

> Popsicles for Adults and Kids ~ Think cocktail applications for adults and natural fruit and juice versions for kids.

> Comfort Food with an Edge ~ This is your grandmother’s recipes reinvented by chefs with a high edge spin.

> Deconstructed Desserts ~ Cookies and candy bars go homemade gourmet!

> Breakfast for Dessert ~ Waffles, pastries, doughnuts and French toast make their way to the dessert menu.

> Vegetarian becomes Vegan ~ Vegetarian dishes go all-in as full vegan-friendly fare.

> Brazilian Cuisine ~ As the host of the 2014 World Cup, Brazil will receive international visibility, putting their Latin American cuisine in the spotlight.

> Artisan Ketchups ~ Beet ketchup, banana ketchup, spiced ketchup. Anyway you name it… there are endless ways to dress up this tabletop staple.

> Gluten-Friendly ~ Gluten will continue to be on the minds of customers. Gluten-friendly is a more realistic patron promise than gluten-free.

> Legumes and Lentils ~ All will be popular, especially the green garbanzo, a superfood with diverse applications.

> Fresh Pressed Juice & Juice Cocktails ~ Juicing will gain momentum and can be served as a healthy beverage by day, and then infused with spirits for craft cocktails by night.

> Craft Beer ~ Look out for flight pairings with small plates.

> Healthy Dining ~ Focusing on food as a preventative medicine for adults and kids alike will continue to gain popularity in foodservice.

> Made in America ~ All things local and homegrown.

That last one definitely strikes a chord at Sysco. We’ve increased our partnerships with local farmers and we are embracing a “big company thinks small” attitude. We’re embarking on a stewardship initiative to help local farmers thrive by getting them more involved in community food programs and more.

We LIVE local!

Looking ahead, there are so many other exciting initiatives on the horizon for Sysco, especially in the culinary arena. Watch for more innovative Chef Culinary Competitions, including a Fig Contest for our Canadian Chefs and a Soup Base Contest taking place over the next couple of months. Then later in the year, there will be a Latin Segment contest with Cholula® hot sauces. These competitions are a great source of inspiration and creativity for not only our customers but also for our chefs’ personal growth to better serve you.

Enjoy all the recipes, tips and trends at ChefRef® Foodie.

Cheers and have a flavorful day!

Chef Neil Doherty
Sr. Director of Culinary Development