Chef Steven Sterritt was kind enough to send the below notes and thoughts following the Parks & Resorts nutrition summit at the Queen Mary. Other chefs have also sent their thoughts and I will post them all as time allows. Please read below and share your thoughts/ideas on nutrition.
Nutrition – For most chefs this is a topic that all too often gets overlooked. I was really pleased that I was asked to attend the meeting on the Queen Mary for a couple of reasons:
1) I had never been on the ship before and couldn’t wait to get on board and explore.
2) I am always striving to learn more about how to cook “healthier” and bring that knowledge to our guests.
Our goal was to take simple, fresh ingredients and extract maximum flavor (similar to what we do daily) but minimizing and/or eliminating the use of salt and measuring everything we produced so that we could calculate with our culinary software precisely each individual recipe’s nutritional analysis to ensure the recipe is well-balanced. Then we would meet to discuss as a group and critique our results.
Here are some of the things we agreed would help us accomplish our goal of providing even healthier meals in Parks & Resorts:
~ We will have full nutritional value available for each items we sell and each time we do a recipe card we will attach a picture, cost and nutritional value
~ We will have a binder or an actual menu available upon request with calorie count, sodium, fiber and fat content
~ We will have one or several items to substitute for French fries
~ We will not use the headline “healthy offerings” but might have a section on our menus where a few select dishes with nutritional content is listed (i.e. Under 500 Calories)
~ We will have at least two vegetarian offerings available on all of our menus
~ The time was well spent and the opportunity to spend some time with other chefs always proves itself invaluable. In my opinion this needs to happen more frequently. The camaraderie between chefs, especially in the same company/division should not be separated by artificial barriers & we can all learn from these types of settings.