Purchasing Analyst/Menu Planner
Saint Paul Public Schools
Saint Paul, MN
"Our students represent a broad spectrum of cultures and nationalities, and have sophisticated tastes. In order to individualize food choices, we offer a wide array of condiments. Many students like hot and spicy foods. Therefore we offer condiments such as hot sauce and salsa. At the elementary school level we menu rice at least weekly—it's usually brown rice, offered with soy sauce.
"Our 'Choice Bar' offers fresh vegetables which may include baby carrots, cucumber slices, grape tomatoes, peas, kohlrabi and zucchini sticks (the winning vegetable --jicama sticks will be added next year) and a tossed salad blend of iceberg and romaine lettuce. Dressings available include low fat ranch, fat free Italian and low fat French."
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
"Condiments— especially in Asian cooking—are known to enhance the basic components of a meal, like meat or rice. They are the final taste touches to many dishes, just as a garnish is to a final presentation. I wanted to give our customers more customization options that would reflect the international nature of the university's enrollment, so we created The International Condiment Station.
"We feature a variety of options like Korean kimchi, Indian dahl, Thai fish sauce, pickled ginger and garlic, curried and pickled vegetables, relishes, wasabi, aÔoli spreads, a selection of flavored oils and vinegar-and a variety of classic American-barbecue and fruit sauces, syrups, ketchup and mustards.
Colorado State University
Ft. Collins, CO
"We catered an event this year that had an African theme. I created a pili pili sauce [the term pili pili refers to the hot chile] that was made of hot peppers, onions, garlic, lemon, parsley, oil and lemon juice. I served it with fried plantains and it went over really well. In a bind, you could just as easily serve the pili pili with freshly fried potato chips.
"We serve grilled, London broiled flank steak with a chimichurri sauce, which is a thick herb sauce very common in Argentina. It's a mixture of olive oil, vinegar and finely chopped parsley, oregano, onion and garlic seasoned with salt, cayenne and black pepper. We marinate the meat in the sauce overnight and the resulting flavors are intense and delicious."
"I teach a catering class and one of the things the class does each year is cater a special event. This years it was a Mexican-themed event, so we brainstormed some different twists on salsas. The pineapple chipotle salsa was by far the best, with the mango salsa coming in at a close second."
Disney's Flying Fish Restaurant
Walt Disney World, FL
"The ramp pesto is certainly one of our more unique condiments. We use the ramp's green leaves, blanch them, then combine them with some garlic, olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
"We make a number of flavored butters and infused oils. We do all our own vinaigrettes. The key to unique condiments is balance and flavor matching. In the Asian pear and kiwi salsa, there are a number of acidic components. In order to match the acidity, I chose the orange blossom honey. Honey is one of my favorite sweeteners.
"Speaking of sweet things, we make the sauces for our desserts as well. We make blueberry compote that pairs really well with the lemon dessert, and a cherry sauce and other fruit compotes."