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By Cara Brechler, Marketing Manager Summer is over, and fall is here; goodbye peaches and zucchini, hello root vegetables and pumpkins! Pumpkins are an iconic part of the fall season, first appearing as jack-o’- lanterns at Halloween and then later as pie for Thanksgiving. The Market Café in San Jose, CA, wanted to mark the beginning of the season by featuring the pumpkin! Local pumpkins from a Farm to Fork vendor will be for sale for all employees. And true to Bon Appetit’s sustainable standards, people will have the opportunity to use the whole thing. There will be a pumpkin carving contest, where employees can show off their knife skills and potentially win a pizza party for 12! Votes will be cast in three categories, fright factor, laughter inducing, and creativity.  Winning masterpieces will be displayed prominently during lunch on Halloween. Pumpkin […]

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Terzo Piano in Chicago, IL, loves to support and celebrate local farmers every day — as well as in a now-annual event it calls Farm to Fork Fest, a special dinner focused on educating guests about where food comes from and why buying from local farms is important.

For the second dinner in our Eat With Bon Appétit series, we once again gathered at Mijita in San Francisco. This time, the guest of honor was Barry Estabrook, author of the new book Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. The winner of a 2011 James Beard Award for his blog, Politics of the Plate, Barry has dug deep into the sterile, sandy soil of Florida’s tomato industry to reveal why most of the tomatoes Americans eat have no flavor and to illuminate the equally unsavory labor practices under which these rock-hard fruits are grown.

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Teams of highly trained, ultra-competitive Bon Appétit chefs have been making their way around the Eastern Seaboard competing in elite contests modeled after Chopped!, the hit Food Network television show. Chefs compete to create culinary masterpieces from a box of mystery ingredients in a short amount of time. Each ingredient in the box must be incorporated into the dish for that round, and given the often random combinations of items, that’s often no easy task! The “steaks” are so high, only the brave need apply.

This week, as millions of college students headed back to school, Newsweek/The Daily Beast released its College Rankings 2011, with categories including Most Service-Oriented, Most Beautiful, Future CEOs, and — most important to us — Best College Food, honoring those schools that “go above and beyond to make it great.” We are proud to say that on that list of 25, Bon Appétit Management Company teams feed a whopping eight of them:

Recently at Seattle University, Bon Appétit Management Company and Slow Food Seattle cosponsored a free showing of the new documentary Vanishing of the Bees, which was directed by George Langworthy and Maryam Heinen and narrated by actress Ellen Page. An astonishing 350 people attended the showing and the panel discussion with local beekeepers that followed.

Bon Appétit Management Company is pleased to announce that it has joined the campaign for Food Day, a nationwide celebration of real food and an effort to improve health, the environment, and America’s food system. It’s a grassroots mobilization to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. On October 24, 2011, people will gather at events big and small and from coast to coast in homes, schools, colleges, churches, city halls, farmers markets, supermarkets, and elsewhere to both learn and advocate.

Professor-student ratios. Numbers of Nobel Prize winners. Percentage of graduates who get jobs in their fields. These are all criteria that prospective college students care about. But in addition to stuffing their heads with knowledge, they want to eat well during their four (or more) expensive years on campus. And that’s why Bon Appétit Management Company is very proud to report that our dining services at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, have been named Best College Food by the 122,000 students polled for the highly influential Princeton Review list of The Best 376 Colleges.

Case Western Reserve University in Cleaveland, OH, and its Bon Appétit team were recently awarded the grand prize in the residential dining concepts category at the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards luncheon held in Dallas, TX. The judges’ criteria included menu concepts, merchandising and presentation, marketing, nutrition and wellness programs, as well as sustainability goals and an overall “wow” factor.

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Not all kids want to be firefighters or astronauts when they grow up. Some want to be chefs — or so a group of students at Grout Elementary School in southeast Portland, OR, told Bon Appétit Executive Chef Mark Harris when he spent Career Day with them.