Bon Appétit teams everywhere are putting their best plants forward!
Director of Nutrition and Wellness Terri Brownlee, Regional Manager of Nutrition Daniele Rossner, and Colby College Executive Chef Carmen Allen — all members of the company’s Plant-Forward Culinary Collaborative working group — recently hosted the company’s second regional plant-forward training at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Chefs from Johns Hopkins, Peabody Institute, St. Timothy’s School, St. John’s College, and St. Mary’s College participated in an interactive training about how to implement plant-forward dining principles successfully into their cafés.
After an introductory presentation, the chefs broke into teams, received a mystery basket, and spent two hours preparing a craveable, plant-forward dish. Finished plates were then displayed on a community table for the judges — Terri, Daniele, Carmen, and Johns Hopkins University Campus Executive Chef Philippe Chin — to evaluate as the best dish in each of two categories, Most Innovative (in terms of culinary strategy for Bon Appétit) and Most Creative (in terms of the use of the five ingredients). The chefs themselves got to vote on a crowd favorite as well.
Chef/Manager Lenord Washington and Executive Sous Chef Steve Paret from Johns Hopkins won Most Innovative with their unconventional shepherd’s pie. Ground pork blended with wheat berries and spinach made up the base of the pie, topped with puréed parsnips and a date glaze to resemble the traditional mashed potatoes and gravy topping of classic shepherd’s pie. In the Most Creative category, Chef/Manager Tom D’Amico from Johns Hopkins and Chef/Manager Sallie D’Alonzo from Peabody Institute stole the show with their Delicata squash rings filled with rye berry stuffing and garnished with a prosciutto-wrapped wedge of butternut squash. Meanwhile, Curtis Institute Catering Chef Victor Rodriguez and St. Mary’s College Sous Chef Will Mohico won their peers’ hearts (and stomachs) with their Mediterranean cashew and chickpea taco with pickled beet slaw.
After the training and judging, the group sat down to feast together — a fitting end to an innovative, inspiring day!
Submitted by Victoria Zelefsky, Marketing Manager