Foodable Congratulates IFMA's 2019 Silver Plate Class

Presented in Chicago by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), the annual Gold & Silver Plate Awards honors some of the most successful innovators and professionals in the industry. Celebrating its 65th year, the award ceremony is in many ways considered the Academy Awards for foodservice.

Typically, only up to nine foodservice operators are selected for an award, but industry experts chose 10 special winners for this year’s Silver Plate Class:

  • Beverly Lynch, Golden Corral for Chain Full Service

  • Bill Marks, Hennepin Healthcare for Health Care

  • Don Falgoust, RLJ Lodging Trust for Hotels & Lodging

  • Lorna Donatone, Sodexo for Business & Industry/Foodservice Management

  • Peter Cancro, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems for Chain Limited Service

  • Randy Montgomery Lait, North Carolina State University for Colleges & Universities

  • Regynald G. Washington, Paradies Lagardère for Retail & Specialty

  • Rodney Taylor, Fairfax County Public Schools Elementary & Secondary Schools

  • Sam Facchini & John Arena, Metro Pizza for Independent Restaurants/Multi-Concept

Winners Rodney Taylor and Regynald Washington both shared their commitment to bettering the lives of young people through education. As Washington noted, helping people become more educated about the industry is simply “part of [his] DNA.”

Other winners like Don Falgoust, Lorna Donatone, and Bill Marks emphasized the importance of keeping the team focused on giving customers the experience they are looking for. Bill Marks in particular wanted to overcome hospital food’s stereotypical bad reputation and set a goal with his team to simply “serve good food.”

One particularly excellent Silver Plate winner is awarded with the Gold Plate. This award is determined by a panel of highly regarded foodservice experts, past winners, and national press. Watch the above video to see some interview highlights and learn more about Regynald G. Washington, who took home the gold!



Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writer & Producer


Best of Show: Food Innovators at the National Restaurant Association

Last week, we hit the 2019 National Restaurant Association show, the largest restaurant show in the country, with a mission to find the latest and greatest food innovations.

With more than 1800 exhibitors on the showroom floor, it was a sensory overload. But we came across three companies, in particular, that are pushing the envelope when it comes to food product.

Tyson Foods: Jimmy Dean Stuffed Hash Browns with Sausage & Gravy & More

One of these companies is Tyson Foodservice.

The foodservice division of Tyson Foods specializes in developing solutions for schools, colleges, healthcare institutions, restaurants and more. Although Tyson is known for its chicken products, the company's portfolio is vast and isn't made up of just meat.

On the showroom floor, we met up with Chris Kline, executive chef of Tyson Foodservice to walk us through some of the company's newest food innovations like the Jimmy Dean® Stuffed Hash Browns with Sausage & Gravy.

"Some of the things we were looking at for the hashbrown is we wanted a product that was a form that folks were familiar with and at the same time, had portability or that hand-held ability that you can carry on the go," says Kline. "If you think of schools, they want that hand-held, crave-able, carry-to-class type of product and this delivers on everything they've either grown up with and once again a flavor and format, they're familiar with."

Watch the video above to learn about Tyson's other products like the Hillshire Snacking Small Plates and Nashville Hot Boneless Wings.

Ocean Hugger Foods | Plant Based Alternative to Raw Tuna, Salmon, & Eel

Plant-based products are in high demand today as more consumers switched to a veggie-centric lifestyle. With that in mind, we made sure to check out some of the many plant-based companies on the showroom floor.

Plant-based burgers are all the rage nowadays, but what about plant-based seafood? We decided to stop by the Ocean Hugger Foods Booth to learn more about the company's plant-based seafood products.

After James Corwell, certified master chef and founder of Ocean Hugger Foods visited the Tsukiji Market in Japan and saw how much tuna was being auctioned off for the use of Sushi, he decided he wanted to create solutions to better protect our ocean's food supply.

The first product the company developed was Ahimi®, a plant-based alternative to raw tuna often used to make sushi.

"It took knowing a little bit about the flavors of Japanese cuisine and tuna and tomatoes are those three things that kinda come together. Basically its the fifth taste umami or savory which is prevalent in Japanese sushi cuisine. It's also prevalent in tuna and tomatoes. So we're able to put 1, 2 & 3 together to make Ahimi," says Corwell.

Watch the video above to learn more about the seafood alternative and about the company's latest products Sakimi™, a carrot-based salmon alternative, and Unami™, an eggplant-based eel alternative, soon to be available.

Fora Foods | Dairy Free Butter Made From Aquafaba

To round out our food innovation tour at the National Restaurant Association Show, we visited another plant-based company Fora Foods on the showroom floor to chat with both the co-founders Aidan Altman and Andrew McClure to learn why they felt the need to introduce a butter replacement.

"Andrew and I are from the midwest and we grow up eating butter and as we got older and we got into the food system, we realized that a lot of dairy product and meat product come from these industrial farms that are unsustainable and put an environmental strain on the planet. However, in the butter space specifically, the only alternative we could get in the grocery store were the margarines of the world. Products that have been around for decades that we didn't want to put in our bodies," says Altman. "So we saw a huge opportunity to make a plant-based butter that actually works with the functional integrity of a dairy butter that was also clean and sustainable."

The butter is gluten-free and non-GMO, as well. Watch the video above to learn more about the dairy butter alternative.

How Toronto's Multicultural Food Scene Has Made the City a Celebrated Culinary Destination

Foodable Network is always on the lookout for culinary food scenes with a vibrant, yet unique character.

With our "Food in Your City" series, we visit cities offering food scenes unlike any other.

Toronto is referred to as the "New York of Canada" and for good reason. There's a tremendous amount of flavor.

With the majority of the population speaking multiple languages, it makes sense that this culinary destination would have an equally diverse and dynamic food culture.

"When you're eating out in a city as diverse as Toronto, a whole world of flavors is always within walking distance. From hole-in-the-wall joints with no phone to luxurious tasting menus, Toronto is a food lover's dream city," writes "Bon Appétit."

Popular cuisines include Korean, Cuban, Southern American, Brazilian, and so on. Toronto continues to be rooted in culture and heritage and this reflects in the food.

“Unlike being a melting pot, the diversity still stays, so not only do we have communities and neighborhoods, we also have the heritage of those people who are coming from different countries to live here with us," said Donna Dooher, president and CEO of Restaurants Canada.

Renowned restaurateurs like David Chang and Daniel Boulud have opened restaurants in Toronto, but the local talented chefs like Grant van Gameren, Lynn Crawford and Patrick Kriss are helping to make Toronto the celebrated food city it is.

But it isn't just the local chefs elevating the food and beverage scene either. Toronto is home to some of the best bartenders in the business like Frankie Solarik and Robin Goodfellow. These mixology masters are showing guests a whole new world when it comes to their cocktail creations.

Read more about Toronto's food scene here and watch the "On Foodable Side Dish: Food in Your City" episode below to learn more about this culinary city.

Gusto 101 Serves Southern-Italian Dishes with a Twist in a Converted Auto Body Shop in Toronto

Toronto has a dynamic culinary scene with a sheer diversity of restaurants with so many different flavors.

Since the competition is fierce in this city, a restaurant has to stand out to make a name for itself, especially when it serves the popular cuisine of Italian.

Gusto 101 in downtown Toronto at the Portland and Adelaide intersection, does just that.

We visited Gusto 101 a few years ago, a southern-Italian restaurant known for its traditional cuisine paired with a bold and modern twist. Even the name Gusto, which means tasty in Italian, is a tribute to the restaurant's roots to Italy.

With an industrial vibe, the restaurant is located in a former auto body shop and has a rooftop deck, Gusto 101 has a tech-forward kitchen to match its innovative front-of-house interior.

“[This is] probably one of the most high-tech kitchens I’ve ever worked in. We have a full-induction burners, combi oven, so on and so forth…It’s at the top of the level of, as far as, the future of kitchens, and the future of restaurant design...,” says Elio Zennoni, executive chef at Gusto 101 in the video below.

But it’s what the chefs prepare in the high-tech kitchen that is the real triumph.

Some of the most popular dishes include ravioli alla norma, rigatoni bolognese, branzino grilled paired with escarole, cannellini beans, celery, salmoriglio and the Tuscan wood-fired grill with grilled chicken and seasonally changing sides.

Watch the Table 42 Vignette episode below to see Chef Zennoni work his culinary mastery and prepare the signature Tuscan Wood Fired Grill Pollo with grilled chicken, butternut squash puree, farro pickled radicchio, and toasted hazelnuts dish.

CEO Frank Paci Shares Why Corner Bakery is Considered a Catering Powerhouse

Having a proven strategy for your catering channel can take your restaurant from just making the margins to expanding your concept. The variables for creating a profitable catering channel are rapidly evolving, so best to learn from the best.

On this episode of The Takeout, Catering and Delivery Show, we sit down with Frank Paci, CEO of Corner Bakery Cafe. Corner Bakery Cafe is known as one of the top performing fast casual operations in the off-premise space with nearly 200 locations in North America. Catering makes up over 25 percent of its business.

We discuss how Paci views the concept’s off-premise business strategy, what his vision for off-premises is moving forward, and how the brand was able to build up its reputation as a catering powerhouse.