Friday, February 13, 2009

2009 World of Healthy Flavors!

The Fifth Annual Invitational and Leadership Retreat: World of Healthy Flavors took place here at the CIA-Greystone campus a couple weeks ago. The conference is held in collaboration with the Harvard Medical School and is a leading conference linking the worlds of health, nutrition, and of course cooking. As a contributing writer for the Sage Thymes school newsletter, I just so happened to get the opportunity to get out of the kitchen, and into the Ecolab Theatre to join these leaders of the foodservice industry. The conference included several tasting sessions that were quite of interest for a certain recent graduate of sensory science. Under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Loss, the audience was surveyed using an audience response system and then the captured data was analyzed and discussed with the attendees.
The bottom row: Options for Tackling the Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Challenge.
Top Row: Sodium in Processed Foods: Comparing Differences among Brands.
Flavor doesn't always mean fat. Many countries use spice blends to develop signature flavors that restaurants can capitalize on as consumers demand lower calorie menu items. From top left to right: Garam Masala, Sambhaar, Suvir's Spice Blend for Fish, Turkish Baharat, Dukkah, and Ana's Kebob Spice Mix.
Nut-based sauces are also a unique way to impart healthy fats and flavors to increase the nutritional value of food. The days of beurre noisette (brown butter) and sauce a' la meunière (butter, lemon, parsley) might not be the only option anymore. From top left to right: Romesco, Muhammarah, Pistacio sauce w/lemon, orange, and olive oil, Almond bread Skordalia, Walnut Tarator, Pesto Trapanese, Pasta de Chile Morita y Cacahuates o Pepitas, and Salsa de Chile de Arbol y Cacahuates.
Remember that this conference is still about food, and what better place to try out these healthy creations than up in the Teaching Kitchens upstairs. The TK was transformed for the closing sponsor reception, "In Small Bites." Let's go check out some of these small bites.
Bush Brothers and Company makes some pretty tasty beans and Chef Tucker makes some pretty tasty........
.....Chipotle Pinto Bean and Spicy Pork Tostada's with fresh Cilantro, Avocado, and Salsa Verde.
Southwestern cuisine is notorious for their full flavors, without all the fat. "And no, sour cream is not indigenous to Mexican food, nor low fat!" Chef Iliana de la Vega, from CIA-San Antonio, demonstrates how with..........
.....Shrimp on Skewers with Peanut & Pumpkin Seed Mole and Oaxacan Green Mole.
Sun-Maid Growers of California donated some tasty dried up grapes. "No Napa Valley grapes were harmed during the production of these raisins!" Chef Lars and AOS-6's very own, Rick Kazmer, prove that raisins don't always just have to be eaten out of hand, instead..............
.......perhaps with Warm Shredded Beef, Chili Poblano and Marinated Onions on Golden Raisin and Corn Blinis with a Raisin-Balsamic Sauce.
Chef Andy Wild was the perfect salesman for Dow Agrosciences who donated the ingredients for these Poblano Chiles Stuffed with a Oaxacan-Style Pork Filling. Also known as Chiles Rellenos con Picadillo Oaxaqueno.I remember my days with Kellogg's. It was probably the healthiest time of my food career. Chef Briwa took a page out of Kashi's book to produce................ ...........Mediterranean Flatbread (JJ Flats) with Figs, Prosciutto, Goat Cheese, Walnuts, and Honey.
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute put their product in the hands of Hawaii-native Chef Wong. Kind of ironic? But the food speaks for itself, and the "Wong Way" is the........... ......tasty way! Bombay-Style Rockfish. Wait, isn't Bombay in India? What a trio of cultures in this one dish!
No meal is complete without dessert. The National Peanut Board provided tasty peanuts and under the guidance of world-renowned CIA pastry chef, Chef Stephen Durfee, out came Peanut and Dark Chocolate Ice Cream in Flax Seed Cones.
After this healthy feast, I might want to reflect on the calorie count of all these small bites. Oh well, calories in-calories out right! What a conference and what an opportunity for a student to take a look at a side of the foodservice industry that many of us in the kitchen don't even know exists. Many thanks go out to Chef Scott Samuel and Conference Program Director Amy Miller for giving me this opportunity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great coverage of the retreat, Scott. Loved all the photos and attribution for the sponsors and CIA chefs!

Amy Myrdal Miller