Denver Chef Infuses Classic Seared Alaska Halibut with Thai Flavors

Throughout the world, people rely on the ocean for sustenance and survival. Sustainability practices in harvesting are essential for ensuring the future quality and continuity of seafood. And rapidly evolving technology possibilities are making sustainability a much simpler and more attainable goal.

For its second season, Foodable’s Smart Kitchen & Bar has partnered with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to feature chefs who are passionate about sustainable seafood sourcing practices. These chefs share why they love seafood, explain how they select responsible seafood purveyors, and showcase innovative, fish-focused recipes.

This season is also available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Foodable On-Demand.

The largest type of flatfish, Alaska Halibut is equal parts simple and elegant with a unique, flaky texture and a mild, sweet flavor. Alaska is the largest provider of domestic halibut in the United States, and all wild Alaska fisheries harvest responsibly and sustainably.

In the clip above, Chef Jennifer Jasinski shares her Thai-infused mango Alaska dungeness crab salad and seared Alaska halibut recipe with host Paul Barron. Jasinski's unique recipe pairs halibut and dungeness crab with coconut crusted risotto. As you can see in the video, the dungeness crab that was used is classified as "ugly crab," which simply means it has a less attractive shell (barnacles, discoloration, war wounds), but it is just as safe and delicious to eat as a crab with an attractive-looking shell.

Originally from Santa Barbara, California, Chef Jasinski has always loved the ocean and the diversity of fish it offers. After traveling for over a decade with Wolfgang Puck Food Company, she put down roots in Denver and currently owns five acclaimed restaurants in the city under the group name Crafted Concepts. One of her latest restaurants, Stoic & Genuine, opened in 2014 and features fresh-from-the-water seafood.

Check out the full episode on Amazon Prime Video or Foodable On-Demand to learn more about sustainable seafood practices and Jasinski’s philosophy on leaving no scraps behind.

Sous Vide Alaska Pollock Cooked to Perfection

Originally kept to the domain of professional chefs, sous vide is becoming an increasingly popular cooking method in the average American home. The sous vide cooking method typically consists of vacuum-sealing your choice of food in a bag, cooking it in a bath of water in a glass container, and potentially broiling or searing the food further for a crispier flavor.

For the second season of Smart Kitchen & Bar, Foodable has partnered with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to spotlight chefs who actively practice sustainable seafood sourcing. These chefs share why they love seafood, explain how they select responsible seafood vendors, and showcase cutting-edge, fish-focused recipes.

This season is also available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Foodable On Demand.

Wild Alaska pollock makes for a versatile, flaky, and delicious dish. Alaska pollock is the largest sustainable fishery in the world and is caught in its natural habitat and processed at-sea or on shore. It has a mild cod-like taste and delicate texture prized by chefs from around the world.

In the clip above, Chef Jennifer Booker shares her sous vide Alaska pollock recipe with host Paul Barron. The delicious recipe features a variety of flavorful ingredients including saffron rice, sautéed spinach, garlic, and tomato.

Booker is a personal chef, cookbook author, culinary educator, and business owner based in Atlanta. She also currently serves as an Executive Chef for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Her culinary company, Your Resident Gourmet, provides in-house cooking, catering, party planning, menu development, and cooking classes. Booker loves seafood, and encourages her clients to rethink the unhealthy stereotypes of southern cuisine.

Check out the full episode on Amazon Prime Video or Foodable On Demand to learn more about southern agriculture and finding fresh, healthy, sustainable seafood.

Protein Farmers Changing the Landscape of our Food System

Poultry farmers in the United States face an ever-evolving host of issues today: the use of antibiotics, animal welfare concerns, sustainability, proper waste management—and all while trying to make a profit.

Chicken has a relatively small carbon footprint when compared to other meats, and the concept is not showing any signs of slowing in terms of customer popularity. According to Foodable Labs, chicken has seen consumer demand for chicken inclusion on menus rise by 19.8 percent, and chefs have added chicken to menus by a rate of 23.9 percent.

Protein Consumer Sentiment Ranking

Chicken is second only to plant-based meat—an exploding industry—in terms of consumer sentiment. But consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the quality of the food that they are eating, and the methods in which food is grown or raised. For all of the benefits of chicken, those benefits can be lost or lessened if the chicken is mishandled or mistreated.

Tyson Foods is working to make poultry farming efficient and affordable while still adhering to best animal well-being practices and its high standards for food quality. The corporation currently contracts over 4,000 independent poultry farmers, and pays over $800 million each year for their services. Jacque, a current poultry farmer in contract with Tyson, has loved her and her husband’s years of working with Tyson.

“Some of the best blessings we have is from farming,” says Jacque. “We think Tyson represents quality, it represents hard work. It represents animal welfare and everyone working together to advocate for a healthy happy animal.”

“There’s nothing factory farm about our farm,” adds Jacque. “This is a family farm. It’s how we make a living, and it’s how we teach important values to our children. There’s nothing factory about it.”

On average, contracted Tyson Foods poultry farmers have worked with the corporation for over fifteen years. Contracts are generally negotiated to last at least three to seven years.

Contract farming at Tyson Foods gives farmers peace of mind: their compensation is not at the behest of the rise and fall of corn, soybean, and other chicken feeding ingredients. Tyson exclusively provides all of the feed farmers need. Poultry farmer compensation is instead determined based on how the chickens are cared for and overall bird weight gain.

Most major poultry processing companies use a similar performance-based pay program. And according to a 2014 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, contract poultry farmers have a higher median income when compared to other farm households.

Poultry farmer contracts are highly regulated at the federal level to ensure farmers’ rights are protected. All contracted poultry farmers have the right to:

  • end a contract with 90 days notice

  • a 90 day notice of contract termination from the processor

  • join an association of farmers

  • seek the advice and counsel of outside parties regarding their contract.

Tyson Foods also offers a program for struggling farmers to help improve their performance and avoid the need for contract termination.

Poultry farmers contracted by Tyson Foods must also—pre-contract—fulfill a list of modern housing specifications to ensure proper ventilation and a comfortable bird living environment. Maintenance concerns and necessary repairs must also be completed in a timely manner. Any technical or animal management problems are handled by Tyson Foods service technicians and animal welfare specialists.

This post is brought to you by Tyson Foods. To see more content like this, visit The Modern Chef Network.

CxRA Addresses New Catering Demand With State of The Art Facility

Most chefs would love to design their own kitchen, but few actually get to make it happen. This episode of “BUILT.” highlights Tim McLaughlin, the head chef of CxRA, and his vision for the catering company’s new facility in New York City.

CxRA is a custom caterer and part of the renowned Restaurant Associates family. Tim McLaughlin is both the company’s head chef and vice president of culinary services. He manages the sales, marketing, service, and design of CxRA. After a nine month search, McLaughlin selected a brick building with over 15,000 square feet of space—including a spacious parking lot perfect for housing CxRA trucks—that now comprises the catering company’s foodservice operations.

He then asked Christine Gurtler, the design director for Jacobs Doland Beer, and Thomas Mango, the senior project director for ENV, to help him create the blueprint design for the new kitchen.

“I know Tim and Restaurant Associates from work on other projects where they were the operator and we were the foodservice design consultant,” says Gurtler. “This was the first time we worked with Restaurant Associates where they were the client.”

CxRA has enjoyed steady growth since its inception—so much growth, in fact, that the company outgrew its first kitchen much more quickly than McLaughlin ever anticipated. This space would need to be functional and flexible.

THE CHALLENGE

While the space was largely a blank canvas, McLaughlin wanted to keep its industrial feel. He envisioned an open-concept kitchen filled with natural light that could meet the needs of the company’s ever-changing requirements. The design also needed to keep the loading dock easily accessible, as it serves as the beginning and end point for products.

“We needed a space that was going to be mobile at all times,” he explains. “We could be doing dinner for 100 one day, and the next day serving boxed lunches for 5,000.”

Mango and Gurtler were up for the challenge. “A lot of clients don’t always know exactly what they want,” says Mango. “Tim had a direction that really helped us.”

The goal of the design was to ensure that the company’s 107 cooks would be able to perform their day-to-day tasks in “as few steps as possible,” adds Gurtler. “Looking at the relationships between functions was critical during the design process.” The kitchen was to be employee-focused rather than office- and event-focused to ensure a comfortable working environment where the staff could meet the growing consumer demands of CxRA.

McLaughlin also wanted to avoid the problems of the old CxRA kitchen, knowing that in the catering world “you’re as good as your last party.”

“We can create a lot of smoke because of the amount of production we do,” says McLaughlin. “We wanted to make sure you can leave here and your clothes aren’t going to smell like food.”

McLaughlin followed Gurtler’s advice and had the Halton system installed—a decision he has not regretted since day one. The results have been life-changing in terms of flexibility and performance.

The result? A beautiful blend of brick, wood, and stone. With over 2,000 events a year, CxRA needed a place that felt inviting while still remaining functional.

The kitchen looks entirely different during the day compared to at night, allowing for unique design and event opportunities. The large, industrial-sized windows also provide an amount of natural light uncommon to most New York City kitchens. And whether for crafting pastries, chopping ingredients, or completing general prep, every space serves a purpose.

This episode is brought to you by Halton. . M.A.R.V.E.L. is the only technology able to adjust the exhaust airflow rate of every hood, independently and in real time, while keeping the balance between exhaust and supply, whatever the number of cooking zones or the number of fans. It reduces the exhaust airflow rates by up to 64%.

Research by:

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writer & Producer


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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!

Winners.png

by:

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writer & Producer


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