Food & Business Tips
When I first heard the terminology of the “recycle stream,” all kinds of visions popped into my head—none of which had anything to do with recycling.
Single stream recycling is just what it sounds like, all of your recyclable items are placed in the same container and then sorted on down the stream by a secondary company and then sold to item specific companies. This is what the lovely town of Irmo (where I live, in case you did not know) has implemented in the nicest lime green curbside containers. I am able to put all kinds of clean items in one container and then they are sorted later and recycled, cutting down on transportation cost and making it easier on me to recycle at home. Well there are also multiple companies in the Midlands who will do the same thing in your business for you. They will provide a container for paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and just about everything else that can be recycled. For a fee they will pick it up and recycle for you. A number of these companies can be found on www.recyclonomicssc.com helping to make recycling easy here is one of… Continue reading
Recycle, Zero landfill, Compostable, Biodegradable, waste to Energy… There has not been a time, in my 35 year career in the foodservice industry, that I have ever encountered a more confusing issue facing our industry. Over the last 8 years or so I have struggled with determining which direction I should lead my kitchen in so that we can make a difference for the future of the human race. After all, as I was reminded by one of my staff members, we are but a tiny blip on the screen of the history of the earth. His philosophy is that it simply makes sense to use the resources wisely and to not completely pollute the world in which we eat. Armed with this new perspective, I have finally adopted a program that makes sense for me. I wanted to share some of the things that we do at Blue Cross in the hopes that maybe there is something here that might make sense in your operation, and that maybe you will share something with me that I have not thought of, that may make sense for me.
1. Aluminum cans; this one was an easy one and so very… Continue reading
The Culinary Institute at Carolina
As another class rotation begins this month, let me take a few minutes to explain some of the changes which are coming to the institute, and to reemphasize some of the policies already in place.
With the addition of Blackboard, instructors can now post any handouts, recipes, links, or any other ancillary materials to the web which students can then download and print for themselves. Using Blackboard effectively allows for much easier communication with students, and relieves costly bulk printing at the McCutchen House. Blackboard also allows us to post grades from any tests given throughout the program.
All classes will have a final test given in class, graded, and posted. As of now, there are no steadfast rules as to whether a student can receive a certificate without passing this test (except for ServSafe©), but it will become the rule soon; especially considering that we will eventually apply for accreditation through the ACF. Syllabi are being reworked for cohesiveness, minimum standards, and for CHRIE approval. There will still be some room for instructors to add additional recipes and techniques, but we must maintain a strong foundation.
A houseperson will be on property through the… Continue reading
Food & Business Tips
All buzz words of the decade but how do we really incorporate them into our daily operations. In years past at CIC we have practiced the 80-20 rule, meaning 80% of our products come from one supplier and 20% came from everyone else. In years past this meant Partnering with one main supplier that best suits your service level needs, quality level, HACAAP controls, and cost controls. This also helped your Green Efforts in reducing the number of deliveries, trucks on the road, paper work reduced, along with reduced labor efforts. One of the down falls in the past of this system is Chef’s might have to give up getting a locally grown or produced product or choice of cost over sustainability. This is seemingly becoming less and less of an issue, as I have noticed suppliers carrying organically produced chicken, South Carolina grown produce, South Carolina produced spring water, as well as a host of other local sustainable products. The questions becomes, are the customers ready for such products, and are Chef’s ready to support these programs before they fade away into the past. This is the time for the industry as a whole to… Continue reading
Food & Business Tips
May marked the graduation of another culinary class, and this was the largest class to graduate in our history! Having that number of graduates is encouraging from the standpoint of realizing that the incoming students are committed to our program and feel they are getting a thorough and useful certificate. The program is still dedicated to earning accreditation through ACF or another institute, and to that end we remain optimistic that the cold kitchen will have a full makeover before the end of the year, resulting in a facility more geared for teaching and training.
The new rotation will be the first with internet access by using the University’s Blackboard system. For those of you not familiar with Blackboard, the basic principle is that we can now post any information we need to share with the students, which they can then access with their account. During the course of a subject, their syllabus can be made available, handouts or worksheets can be posted, along with homework, even testing can be done online. Blackboard is a wonderful way to get information out to all the students without having to print numerous copies to handout. We can also… Continue reading
As the truck rolls up to the campus at the University of South Carolina, you can feel the excitement in the air, well, in between the rain drops. Seventeen blocks of ice are delivered to the Horseshoe as the Culinary students begin to gather with a mix of chainsaw heaven and fear painted across their faces. Chef Jeff Quasha, Banquet Chef from Ruth’s Chris and our instructor for advanced Garde Manager, goes over the safety instructions and ice carving advice. Students from USC begin to stop by to see what is happening which is the perfect end to a class full of sausage stuffing, pate confusion, and more hors d’oeuvres then you can shake a gherkin at.
Rotation 22 now begins their last class of advanced baking and pastry with Chef George Bozko, from the Embassy Suites hotel. One student was heard to say as they were tasting chocolate caramel sauce, sabayon sauce, and pastry cream, “Wow this is really great —I am going to need to run an extra ½ mile a day.” In this world of fantastic frozen pre-made desserts, I believe it is important to maintain at least one in-house dessert selection, or we may lose the… Continue reading
Of course it is the kind of trouble everyone in foodservice wants to have: too many customers. We began a new class in January with 20 students, with more on the waiting list then we have ever had. When you have that many students and one Chef/ instructor all in a kitchen designed for 12, you can imagine the kind of territorial battle for working space that will happen. Even with the redesigned kitchen classroom and the new stainless steel from floor to ceiling we have out grown our space. The silver lining in all this, even with all the uncertainty in the finance world, the culinary arts are as strong as ever. As a side note, the next class beginning in July is already full and the next class beginning January 2010 is filling quickly.
We welcome Chef Dave Grillo as a new instructor in the Soup, Stocks, and Sauce class. Dave stirred things right in with rewriting the syllabus with more focus on classic sauces and knife skills. I notice some students already complaining about the cooks’ callous from holding their Chef’s knife correctly, go figure. We also have the pleasure of welcoming back Chef Ed Chinners CEC,… Continue reading