From coronavirus variants to supply chain issues, and the ability to serve our guests in person, dining service operations saw a host of new challenges and more importantly, achievements in 2021!
The food trends of this year are, like any year, were reflective of how Cura teams have innovated and created award-winning recipes within the new foodscape!
To combat food shortages, Cura Regional Chef Dennis Rivera was crowned a top chef during a Waste Nothing “Rescue Recipe” Throwdown competition where he competed against 500 chefs throughout the Elior North America family of brands. Waste Nothing is designed to encourage our operators to become aware of the food waste they produce and then work to reduce, rescue, and redirect it from the landfill! Read more in FoodService Director Magazine!
Chef Dennis dove into creating a high end three-course meal using leftover oatmeal, Brussels sprouts stalks, carrot peels, past-due milk and other typically trashed ingredients!
Chef was innovative in creating this colorful and tasteful menu that’s easy to make and has great acceptability! The appetizer was a sweet potato bisque with a brunoised apple and carrot spice topped with a crème fresh. For the main course, a tandoori spiced cod was served on a British bread puree, topped with a tomato chutney and served with a side of cilantro lime rice. Chef plated with a drizzle of raita sauce which brought the cod presentation to life!
Leftover oatmeal served as the main component for dessert. “I wanted to go out of the box so I created oatmeal donuts using leftover raisins which I soaked with alcohol. It really spiced it up,” says Chef Dennis Rivera. Sprinkled with confectionary sugar and cinnamon, these commonly tossed ingredients were transformed into this decadent dessert!
The Rescue Recipe competition not only inspires Cura chefs to cut waste, it also promotes creativity, transforming perfectly good ingredients into new and delicious recipes that are added to our menus!
Global foods are also trending in hospitals, offering hospital staff and guests a taste of places they’d like to visit or have been to in the past!
After taking over all of the Allegheny Healthcare Network (AHN) hospitals in Pennsylvania for management of cafes and patient dining, Executive Chef Chris Culp is accustomed to preparing foods from different cultures at AHN’s new Wexford Hospital, Wexford, PA.
Chef Chris Culp’s previous job was feeding the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins. From there, he has skated over to Cura’s team at the new hospital, starting things off on a positive note, according to Jennifer Riley, Cura food service director at Wexford. “Chef Chris brings a unique experience as he prepared culturally diverse foods for players from around the globe,” Riley says.
Chef Culp says while many of the hockey players came from faraway places like Russia and the Czech Republic, the common thread was always comfort food, something he’s bringing to his role at Cura.
Comfort yet culturally diverse foods like German cuisine was recently served by Chef Culp and the Cura team during an Oktoberfest celebration including spaetzle, sauerkraut and sausage.
Chef Culp has also introduced a chef action station, where local chefs and food producers can be featured. Recently, the station hosted Monsoon Kitchen’s corporate chef, who prepared butter chicken, curry veggies, samosas and more.
Selected by Food Management Magazine as a Top 10 Menu Trend for 2021, Cura’s one bowl wonders were selected as one of the most flavorful bowl recipes of the year!
A favorite with Allegheny Health Network Chief Operating Officer Kelly Kassab, the Vegebond Salmon Grain Bowl is part of Cura’s BeWell collection of recipes at AHN’s Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Hills, Pa. BeWell is Cura’s wellness approach that brings nutritious food to the table and makes the healthy choice the easy choice for our dining guests! Vegebond is made with edamame, shiitake mushrooms, light soy sauce, green onions, fresh ginger, crispy onions and grilled salmon with a wild rice blend to tie it all together.
Cura is a dining program that they’ll be talking about, and trends you will be known for!