Busy Weeks, A New Post.

September 30, 2010

Hello All,

It has been a few weeks since my last post and I really need to thank Chef Kevin Doherty and Rick Abramson for making guest posts while I’ve been busy. I actually love to have other chefs post from time to time to share different perspectives and create an open conversation about our culinary practice.

Most recently, I’ve been up in Boston training some of our chefs for their CCC exams. Training and teaching other chefs is truly what I am most passionate about. I enjoy watching our chefs grow and learn and work toward their goals.

In early October, I’ll fly to Buffalo for the Delaware North Culinary Council meeting. Every few months a group of the company’s leaders come together to evaluate where we are and where we are going from a culinary perspective. Incredibly, our focus is already on 2011 and beyond.

I should be able to post a bit more regularly now. Thanks again to those who posted over the past 10 days. I know that there are other chefs from other parts of our company planning to make guest posts…I look forward to reading them. I hope all of you do as well.

In Good Cooking Always,

Chef Roland Henin, CMC

Catching Up With Food Trucks.

September 20, 2010

This is a guest post from Sportservice Regional Executive Chef Kevin Doherty.

There is no denying that one of the newest trends in the culinary world is the emergence of food trucks that sell global cuisine. It seems that food trucks are popping up all over the country and having great success. I did a quick Google News search of food carts and learned the following: A late night food cart has been approved in Massachusetts; an organic food cart has been approved in New York City; there are now more than 500 food carts in Portland; and there are food carts in San Francisco now starting to sell cocktails. All of this news about food carts was all from the past 24 hours.

I have many theories on why this is becoming a popular trend. Most importantly, it fits our busy lifestyles as it enables people who are working or hurrying home from work to grab something quick. It also works best in densely populated areas, where most U.S. residents live. It’s also new to the American palate and popping up on street corners everywhere.

Food trucks are very popular right now.

I experienced the phenomenon personally a few weeks ago when I ate at a vegan food truck at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The line was more than 100 deep but it was moving faster than what you’d see at Burger King. It was amazing. Plus, most importantly, the food is fresh. I ate a falafel with pickled cabbage, carrot and cucumber in a whole wheat pita…all for $5.

Now I’m hooked. I have apps on my phone that track specific trucks as does Delaware North Companies Sportservice President Rick Abramson. Every time I travel I look for a new cart to check out. And, with the popularity growing, it seems every time I come home to Boston there is a new cart with new food to taste.

Honestly, it’s one of my favorite trends in the culinary world in quite some time. It’s introducing people to all new types of foods – Mexican, Jewish, Vegan, etc. – And it’s just neat. It’s great to see this idea really changing the way we eat as a society.

Delaware North Teams Up With Food Network.

September 10, 2010

Hello All,

I am beginning to wonder if the rest of the chefs at Delaware North Companies are reading my blog.

In early August out Sportservice team at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati invited local bloggers, food writers and television news anchors to taste and report on its new Food Network Signature Suites Menu. Now, I understand I am not local, but I thought I would get an invite.

I am kidding of course. I’m sure I could have attended and shared my thoughts on the event. However, I probably would have put down the computer for blogging and helped out in the kitchen. I am a Certified Master Chef, not a Certified Master Blogger.

Delaware North’s partnership with Food Network is important as it helps us grow our culinary reach. Currently, our Sportservice division is working with Food Network to bring some of the TV station’s famous recipes to fans at sports stadiums. At the Cincinnati event the team served what Food Network Culinary Producer Charles Granquist called “comfort food with a twist.” The menu included variations on a meatball sub, a Caesar salad, potato skins and artichoke dip. Reds fans can enjoy these items from now until the end of baseball season in September.

Read the rest of this entry »

Back from fishing and catching.

September 8, 2010

Hello All,

I need to make my apologies for not blogging all last week. I used the week to catch up on many things, do some fishing, catching and a little relaxing. But, now I am rested and ready to blog about my travels again.

Before anything else, I wanted to talk about one of the areas of Delaware North’s business that I have the least involvement…Travel Hospitality Services. Our company operates the food and beverage concepts at several major airports like Los Angeles International, Detroit Airport and Ft. Lauderdale to name a few. Since many of these operations don’t require executive chefs to operate, I am not always super involved.

Still, our team must be doing things right. During my week off I read an article from Forbes that said a handful of our concepts – Salt Lick BBQ, Encounter Restaurant, Pink’s and Wolfgang Puck’s – are among the most notable in the country. I know our company has also partnered with other respected brands like Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Which Wich.

In the article, Pauline Armbrust says, “Many concession companies are bringing in fresh fruits and salads and using local vendors and products in their foods. Passengers want to feel a sense of place and get a taste of the local community.”

Anyone who knows me understands how much I value the use of local foods and produce. It is something I promote and work to include on our menus across the country. From The Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park to New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey, you will find our chefs working with local produce.

It’s good to see that is also engrained in our work with Travel Hospitality Services. Recently, our team at Ft. Lauderdale partnered with local chef Allen Susser to introduce some of his famous South Florida cuisine to travelers. It has been well received and is another step in the right direction for our company.

All of this talk has me excited to get back on the road for travel, work and maybe a little airport dining. Alright, it is time to get back to work. I will blog again soon.

In Good Cooking Always,

Chef Roland Henin, CMC