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The “Future of Food” conference convened by the Washington Post at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, provided much… well, food for thought. However, the 30 speakers, who included Charles, Prince of Wales, and Bon Appétit CEO Fedele Bauccio, weren’t serving up snacky soundbites, but multi-course meals made up of whole, high-fiber ingredients.

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At the Second Annual North vs. South Champion Chef Competition hosted by Bon Appétit at Washington University in St. Louis last month, competitors from opposite sides of campus came out in honor of Bon Appétit’s Low Carbon Diet Day and competed in an Iron Chef-style competition with a focus on low carbon cooking. (Read more about what that entails here). Composed of BAMCO chefs and student sous chefs, each team had exactly 30 minutes to cook the most delicious, low carbon meal for a panel of expert judges, which included area chefs from Winslow’s Home and Eclipse Restaurant, as well as Ligaya Figueras of Sauce, St. Louis’ premier culinary magazine.

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The grilled-cheese sandwich has come a long way; long gone are the days of butter-soaked white bread embracing a slice of American cheese. Entire restaurants dedicated to this comfort food have spring up. Recently, the Bon Appétit Cisco team in San Jose joined the celebration by highlighting the melty goodness of a well-made artisan grilled cheese in the cafés.

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Ranchers who raise their meat responsibly and humanely are increasingly hoping that small-scale mobile slaughterhouse units — essentially abattoirs on wheels — can help them stay in business. Interested Colorado College students, Bon Appétit staff, and managers recently had the opportunity to attend a live slaughter demonstration by Ranch Foods Direct at Venetucci Farm.

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Holly Winslow, resident district manager of University of San Francisco, and Crystal Chun Wong, general manager at Kirkland and Ellis in San Francisco, were glad to play hosted a group of 20 Girl Scouts from three different troops for a pizza party at USF. They didn’t even have to be “badgered” into it.The scouts were each in the process of completing the Girl Scout Gold Award on Food and Local Farming. The visit to Bon Appétit was part of the “research and personal enrichment” portion of the requirements.

In this new Bravo Beat series for the Bon Appétit blog, we’ll spotlight some of our star staff, starting with Hamidou Cisse, Bon Appétit sous chef at Lesley College in Cambridge, MA. Born in Dakar, Senegal, the soft-spoken, genial Hamidou came to the United States in 1992 from Germany.

TASTE Restaurant Pasty Chef Lucy Damkoehler speaks with the Chef’s Collaborative about her doughnuts Lucy Damkoehler began baking way back in fifth grade, when she would help her father knead and shape dough for bread as a hobby. She’s now a distinguished pastry chef for Bon Appétit Management Company’s TASTE Restaurant in Seattle, where her desserts have captured the hearts and bellies of restaurant diners far and wide, including my own. A few weeks ago, Lucy presented her latest doughnuts to a room full of chefs, farmers, and good food lovers at the Seattle Chef’s Collaborative Bakers’ Meet and Greet. Doughnuts cannot feign being a health food, but making them can be healthy for the community if the ingredients come from local, sustainable producers. Like the rest of the TASTE team (and Bon Appétit companywide), Lucy goes all-out to celebrate […]

By Sarah McGowan, Marketing Manager The new student-run Duke Campus Farm at Duke University in Durham, NC, broke ground in early 2011 with great promise. After a full year of planning, students began with a February work party and the following mission: “To educate the student body on sustainable farming practices, increase Duke’s sustainability, and reconnect our generation with its food.” Starting a farm is one thing, but making it self-sustaining is another. The farm was initiated by students, who organized a feasibility study with Duke Environmental Sciences and Policy Professor Charlotte Clark’s “Food and Energy” class. The students researched the economics of the project, including details like space requirements, cost of production and maintenance, and crop sales. That’s where Bon Appétit came in. The students worked with Resident District Manager Nate Peterson and Marketing Manager Sarah McGowan on a […]

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By Toni Ansuini, General Manager, Brocade Brocade Executive Chef Ryan Smith explains the fine arts of butchering a chicken.  Bon Appétit chefs are not only skilled at cooking from scratch and using all parts of the animals, they believe in sharing that knowledge. At Brocade in San Jose, CA, Executive Chef Ryan Smith recently led a culinary demonstration and class on classic culinary techniques of butchering for 25 guests. Butchery has become popular again as more people want to be assured of their food supply chain. The benefits of butchering meat at home include knowing the direct source of the meat and reducing risk of contamination from processing. But even dividing a whole chicken into breasts and thighs can be intimidating to people, so this was a chance for the audience to learn the necessary skills.  Ryan demonstrated how to […]

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The history of Tower Root Beer is one of growth, success, loss, and rebirth. It begins in Boston, 1914, when Italian Immigrant Domenick Cusolito decided that root beer was going to be his family’s ticket in the United States. Domenick took an old recipe and tweaked it, creating what the company now calls “root beer with an Italian spin” that Bon Appétit is proud to serve in its Boston-area cafés.