Chef Q&A

Side Dishes

Q: Barbecue and grilled meats demand tasty side dishes. What are your favorites?

I love a good cole slaw—especially when I use Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Super Slaw as the base. It includes kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage, making it extremely healthy and nutritious. At other times, I like to add shredded MFC Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, jicama, and fresh cilantro to RSS Cole Slaw Mix for a Latin flair.

Good eating!

Chef: Bud Andersen
Chef Bud Andersen, Ben E. Keith Foods

Using Mushrooms in Pasta Sauce

Q: Mushrooms impart a natural umami flavor that makes them craveable. What are your favorite ways to use them?

I really like using mushrooms in classic dishes like pasta Bolognese. Add some fresh or even dry mushrooms to your soffritto along with the carrots, celery, and onions, and pulse in a food processor. As the sauce simmers with the other ingredients the mushrooms will impart that earthy umami flavor that I love in a good ragu for pasta.

Good eating!

Chef Michael Dahling, Shamrock Foods Company

Quintessential Italian Dish

Q: Italian cuisine has had a long history of popularity across the world. What recipe do you feel best highlights fresh produce?

The quintessential dish that reminds me of my time in Italy is broccoli with house-made Italian sausage, orecchiette pasta, and shaved Reggiano Parmigiano in a light fennel broth.

Good eating!

Chef Michael Dahling, Shamrock Foods Company

Using RSS Juices

Q: Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) fruit juices add flavor to more than the beverage menu. How do you use them?

RSS Juices work perfect for classic sauces such as a gastrique. Try using RSS Grapefruit Juice balanced with some sugar or honey, and add a touch of rice wine vinegar. Serve this light sauce with pan-seared scallops and micro greens for an ideal appetizer.

Good eating!

Chef Michael Dahling, Shamrock Foods Company

Using Carrots

Q: Carrots are kitchen workhorses…how do you put them into the spotlight and highlight their inherent sweetness?

First thing every morning, I juice Markon First Crop (MFC) Carrots, MFC Oranges, and fresh ginger to get my day going. For menus I like tossing RSS Shredded Carrots with kale, salad blends, or simply seasoning them with olive oil, salt, and pepper—then roasting in the oven until lightly caramelized. Slow roasting brings out the natural sugars and balances the salt.

Good eating!

Chef Michael Dahling, Shamrock Foods Company

Using RSS Kale Blend

Q: Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) salad blends take the work out of creating interesting, flavorful first courses. Which is your favorite and what other ingredients do you toss in?

My favorite right now is the RSS Kale Blend, The multi-color mixture of purple, red, and green gives you a great starting base and makes easy use of the on-trend ingredient kale.

Kale is very versatile—it’s great as a cold green salad, slightly wilted and warm, or as side dish ingredient. When using kale, I like to start with olive oil or bacon fat to counter its inherent bitterness. Next I add a light acid like apple cider vinegar or citrus juice to balance the dressing. RSS Peeled Garlic, ramps, and Markon First Crop Onions stand up well to kale’s bold flavor in savory dishes. I also like to use kale with fresh fruits and honey for a bit of sweetness and nuts for crunchy texture.

Good eating!

Chef: Mark Emery
Chef Mark Emery, Gordon Food Service Canada

Blue-Belly-Bella-Brioche Sandwich

Q: Chefs are always coming up with new and innovative sandwich recipes. What’s yours?

I call my sandwich the Blue, Belly, Bella, Brioche. First I toast a brioche bun, spread it with a thin layer of blue cheese dressing, and top it with endive and a slice of Markon First Crop (MFC) Red Onion. Next I sear a bourbon- and maple syrup-marinated MFC Portabella Mushroom and strips of pork belly until caramelized and add all to the brioche stack. The bitterness of the endive and blue cheese meld well with the richness of pork belly and Portabella, while it all gets a little sweetness from the maple syrup. Try this delicious and well-balanced sandwich!

Good eating!

Chef: Mark Emery
Chef Mark Emery, Gordon Food Service Canada

Superfood Smoothies

Q: Smoothies and fresh-pressed juices have evolved. What are your favorite flavor combinations?

I have so many favorites including the several superfood smoothies that use any combination of the following: kale (iron), carrots (vitamin A), citrus (vitamin C), blueberries (antioxidants), pineapple (vitamin B), Greek yogurt (protein), avocados (healthy fats), and mint (digestion). For a tropical blend I mix RSS Pineapple Chunks, RSS Orange Sections, banana, and mango. For a mixed berry smoothie, try MFC Strawberries with blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

Good eating!

Chef: Mark Emery
Chef Mark Emery, Gordon Food Service Canada

Using Produce in Rice Dishes

Q: Rice dishes are very versatile…from hot to cold, from salad to side dish. What produce items do you use with rice?

The generally neutral flavors of rice make it an excellent blank palette that can be used in applications across all meal parts and cuisines. Pilaf is my go-to rice dish. I always start with Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Peeled Garlic and RSS Sliced Yellow Onions that I sweat in fat and then use to toast rice before adding stock. Additions can be easily made at this point for multiple cuisines. For a Latin rice dish, use chile peppers, cilantro, cumin, lime, tomatoes, and tomatillos. For fall recipes, add cranberries, nutmeg, pumpkin, sage, and squash.

Good eating!

Chef: Mark Emery
Chef Mark Emery, Gordon Food Service Canada

Tableside Caesar Salad

Q: Old is new is old and on and on…what is your favorite retro recipe and how do you update it?

I am a sucker for the classics and really like tableside preparations. Most of today’s Caesar salads are a far cry from the original, so instead of updating, I think there is an opportunity to go back to the original and offer tableside. Rub the bowl with a smashed clove of Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Peeled Garlic. Drop in an anchovy filet, Worcestershire sauce, RSS Lemon Juice, and a pinch of cayenne. Slowly add olive oil whisking thoroughly to emulsify. Add torn RSS Hearts of Romaine leaves, shaved Parmesan, and house-made croutons; toss prior to serving.

Good eating!

Chef: Mark Emery
Chef Mark Emery, Gordon Food Service Canada

Smoked Vegetables

Q: The technique of smoking is usually associated with meats, but it’s increasingly being used to flavor produce. What vegetables do you like to smoke and/or fire roast?

Vegetables like carrots, eggplants, and fennel work well when smoked for long periods over low heat—it infuses complex, umami-like flavors. For quicker preparations, try charring directly on the grill; items like cabbages, peppers, onions, and tomatoes are ideal, especially for spring and summer menus.

Good eating!

Chef: Gerry Ludwig
Chef Jerry Ludwig, Gordon Food Service

Veggie-Centric Meals

Q: Which dishes lend themselves best to meat-as-a-condiment style cooking?

Many Asian recipes focus on vegetables and sauces, using small pieces of meat as a garnish or equal ingredient (compared to more American meals where a steak may be the entire entrée). Serving dishes like this, whether it be a stir-fry, fried rice, or spicy curry, allows you to give customers healthier options while reducing protein costs.

Good eating!

Chef: Gerry Ludwig
Chef Jerry Ludwig, Gordon Food Service

Brighten Dishes with Herbs

Q: What is your favorite herb and how do you like to use it in recipes?

Basil is the king of herbs…and while I do like using basil, I love the fresh, clean notes that cilantro and mint can add to recipes such as cole slaw, green salads, and pestos.

Good eating!

Chef: Gerry Ludwig
Chef Jerry Ludwig, Gordon Food Service

Trendy Salads

Q: What are your favorite salads for this time of the season?

My two favorites this year are Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Super Slaw and RSS Heritage Blend. The slaw is packed with healthy ingredients like kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage. Use it to add dimension to barbecue side dishes or toss with lean protein and citrusy dressings for a light entrée. The hearty, colorful leaves of RSS Heritage Blend make it an ideal base for grilled fish, chicken, or steak.

Good eating!

Chef: Gerry Ludwig
Chef Jerry Ludwig, Gordon Food Service

Spicy Snacks

Q: Snacks have taken over as their own category. What healthy, yet craveable snacks do you suggest?

Make it spicy! My advice is to offer snacks that pack some heat, as fiery foods continue to trend from coast to coast. Roasted garbanzo beans and cauliflower florets with Romesco sauce, pickled carrots and Jalapeno peppers, and chile-lime mango all fit the bill for health and craveability.

Good eating!

Chef: Gerry Ludwig
Chef Jerry Ludwig, Gordon Food Service

Using Avocados

Q: Avocados are said to be packed with good fats. How do you incorporate this ingredient in recipes?

Avocados have become a staple in many styles of cuisine—they’re no longer only associated with Latin/Mexican food. I dice them into salads, puree them smooth to create sauces and dips, and whisk with aged sherry vinegar for a unique vinaigrette.

Good eating!

Chef: Chris Casson
Chef Chris Casson, Shamrock Foods Company

Contrasting Textures

Q: Texture is increasingly important…what recipes combine ingredients with complementary textures?

Complementary textures tend to be contrasting textures. I like to serve pho, which incorporates crunchy bean sprouts with the light broth or ramen that has light broth, smooth noodles, creamy poached egg, and an array of crunchy produce garnishes like carrots and green onions. Just as the consumer enjoys the contrast of hot/cold and sweet/salty, texture has become just as important to the success of a finished dish.

Good eating!

Chef: Chris Casson
Chef Chris Casson, Shamrock Foods Company

Mexican Cuisine

Q: Mexican food is so mainstream now that it barely registers in the ethnic category. What is your favorite recipe from this beloved cuisine?

True Mexican cuisine focuses on fresh fish, fresh vegetables, and unique spices and herbs. I love fresh salmon or chicken marinated in achiote—annato seed paste—served with fresh vegetables like roasted corn and chile peppers.

Good eating!

Chef: Chris Casson
Chef Chris Casson, Shamrock Foods Company

RSS Trimmed Green Beans

Q: What’s your favorite way to use Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Trimmed Green Beans on the menu?

I like to give them a quick sauté with Markon First Crop (MFC) Bell Peppers, MFC Herbs, and RSS Green Onions. They make great partners for RSS Carrots and MFC Tomatoes too.

Good eating!

Chef: Chris Casson
Chef Chris Casson, Shamrock Foods Company

Using Fresh Berries

Q: Fresh berries are a must for warm weather—how do you use them?

They are a great complement for unique cheese or charcuterie platters, breakfast parfaits, and desserts. As long as they are in season and sweet in flavor, I love to use them across all parts of the menu.

Good eating!

Chef: Chris Casson
Chef Chris Casson, Shamrock Foods Company

Spicy Food Trend

Q: Spicy food is trending, especially with millennials. What are the must-have dishes for this season? What produce do you incorporate?

Kimchi is hot—and the fermenting process can easily be applied to all sorts of vegetables to yield a similar flavor profile. I think using broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, and kales in this manner can yield some very creative ideas for menus. Featuring kimchi in ramen, noodle salads, with grilled meats, and seafood (even in steamed buns) can be a very profitable way of capturing this hot trend.

Good eating!

Chef: Eamon Lee
Chef Eamon Lee, Maines Paper & Food Service

Indispensable Vegetable

Q: What vegetable is indispensable to you as a chef?

The alliums: onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, etc. It’s hard to cook anything with much depth and soul without them.

Good eating!

Chef: Eamon Lee
Chef Eamon Lee, Maines Paper & Food Service

Jazzing Up Simple, Familiar Ingredients

Q: Many diners prefer simple, familiar ingredients prepared in recognizable ways. What items do you suggest and how do you prepare them so they meet this criteria, yet remain delicious and exciting?

When using familiar ingredients, the easiest way to transform their role in a meal is to use a different cooking method. During the winter months, I’ve worked with customers on high-heat roasting different vegetables. Charring carrots, roasting broccoli, cauliflower, kalettes, and hearty greens have yielded rich and complex flavor profiles for menus. These items have also been paired with whole grains, and even their uncooked counterparts, to create healthy vegetable-based menu items from small plates to hearty entrees.

Good eating!

Chef: Eamon Lee
Chef Eamon Lee, Maines Paper & Food Service

Healthy Breakfast Options

Q: Breakfast is a high-earning day part. What healthy recipes do you promote for morning menus?

I like to serve high-quality oatmeal and fresh fruit for breakfast. Pile on the blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. I also like bananas, dates, and shaved coconut.

Good eating!

Chef Michael Showers, Nicholas & Company

Seasonal Fruits

Q: What fruit could you not live without in your kitchen cadre?

I love to get creative with apples and pears in the fall and winter months, then switch to melons and berries in the spring and summer.

Good eating!

Chef Michael Showers, Nicholas & Company

Savory Pancakes

Q: Pancakes aren’t just for breakfast anymore. Tell us your favorite savory pancake ingredients and what you like to serve them with.

In the summer time I love to mix high-quality corn meal with bacon, lobster, and MFC Asparagus. Serve these “pancakes” with a dollop of crème fraiche and this is a homerun!

Good eating!

Chef Michael Showers, Nicholas & Company

Fusion Tacos

Q: The taco trend seems here to stay. What fusion tacos do you like to put on menus? What produce makes the best toppers?

I love adding seasonal ingredients like English peas or morels to my salsas. Unique filling ingredients include fresh artichokes, ramps, and RSS Brussels Sprouts.

Good eating!

Chef Michael Showers, Nicholas & Company

Catered Lunch Boxes

Q: With the fast pace of today’s life, catered lunch boxes are on the rise in both the hotel and restaurant sectors. What would you pack in these adult to-go packs?

Think power foods like nuts and grains, lean proteins, super greens like kale and spinach, healthy fats such as avocado, and dressings made with extra virgin olive oil.

Good eating!

Chef Michael Showers, Nicholas & Company

Healthy Food on the Menu

Q: With the health and wellness trends stronger than ever, what produce products do you feel are most helpful to operator customers?

I recommend using nutrient-dense items like dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Greens like Ready-Set-Serve Baby Kale Mix are versatile, delicious, healthy ingredients that can be used in salads, sautéed as side dishes, or added to soups and stuffings for flavor and texture balance. Many operator customers have been integrating these ingredients into their heart-healthy dishes, salads, and fresh-pressed juices.

Good eating!

Chef Demetrio Marquez, Reinhart Foodservice

Ways to Use Radishes

Q: Radishes are keeping pace with cauliflower and beets in popularity. Suggest some ways to serve these root veggies.

Crisp radish slices always add zing to green salads, but there are so many other uses. Why not add chunky radishes to mayonnaise-based salads like chicken and tuna? Or include them in spicy salsas and relishes? Pickling is another excellent way to use radishes—they work well with hearty dishes like barbecued meats and stews. Other on-trend dishes I’ve seen on menus include Mexican avocado-radish salad; pesto, radish, and sea salt crostini, and buttered leeks with radishes.

Good eating!

Chef Demetrio Marquez, Reinhart Foodservice

Colorful Kids' Menu Options

Q: What suggestions do you give operator customers for healthy kids’ menu items?

Today’s kids are much more adventurous than past generations. Leaving them with the standard choices of chicken nuggets or hot dogs will not win restaurants many young fans. Instead I suggest offering smaller portions of adult entrees, like grilled chicken pesto pasta and grilled chicken fajitas with sweet bell peppers, or adding fresh produce to some of their traditional favorites such as mac and cheese and house-made pizza. Be sure to use whole grain breads and give fresh fruit and veggie side dish options like MFC Apples, RSS Broccoli Florets, MFC Lunch Bunch Grapes, and RSS Orange Sections. Think color!

Good eating!

Chef Demetrio Marquez, Reinhart Foodservice

Pairing Produce with Seafood

Q: Sustainable seafood is in the limelight—what produce items do you like to pair with fish?

Crunchy vegetables are ideal with tender fish dishes for textural balance. I like to serve wild Alaskan salmon with fresh fennel and Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Carrots, and sautéed catfish with spicy chile peppers. Try adding RSS Shredded Red Cabbage to tilapia tacos and pickled MFC Cucumbers to sushi and sashimi dishes.

Good eating!

Chef Demetrio Marquez, Reinhart Foodservice

RSS Arcadian Blend

Q: Food waste is on the forefront of sustainability efforts. Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) products have 100% yield (hence, no waste)—which is your favorite?

I urge chefs to take advantage of the convenience and cost-effectiveness of RSS Salad Blends. You not only save on waste, but also on labor—and the multiple varieties and colors make for great presentations, flavor profiles, and consistency ratios. My favorite is the new RSS Arcadian Harvest Blend—it is hearty, provides great plate coverage, and can stand up to both warm and cold toppings.

Good eating!

Chef Demetrio Marquez, Reinhart Foodservice

Vegetarian Starters

Q: Vegetarian starters can be economical as well as tasty—tell us a few of your favorites.

I love to make tomato tartins. Cut a sheet of puff pastry into a round disc. Shingle olive oil-poached tomato petals on top just inside the edge with a dollop of goat cheese on each. Bake until the puff pastry crisps, then drizzle with balsamic syrup. Top with frisée lettuce or chopped Markon First Crop Basil. Cut it into wedges or serve smaller discs individually.

Another favorite is roasted artichoke and fennel flatbread made with celery root purée and caramelized onions.

This time of year you can also do a lot with beets. Combine roasted beets—golden, red, and candy-striped—with goat cheese, beet chips, Ready-Set-Serve Wild Arugula, and spiced nuts.

Good eating!

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods

Gluten-Free Menu Items

Q: Gluten-free foods continue to rank among popular food trends. What dishes do you suggest for operators that want to meet the needs of these customers?

You can remain gluten-free if you stick with fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains other than wheat, rye, or barley. There are a lot of pastas available now that are made from quinoa, rice, and corn. You can also use spaghetti squash and avoid pasta all together. Split the spaghetti squash in half, remove the seeds, then roast it until tender. If you scrape the squash out of its skin, the strands will fall out like spaghetti. There are also gluten-free breading products available, but you must be sure to use a separate oil when frying gluten-free items so you won’t cross-contaminate.

Good eating!

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods

MFC Kalettes

Q: What Markon First Crop or Ready-Set-Serve product have you discovered and want to use more of over the next year? Why?

I am very excited about MFC Kalettes, a natural kale-Brussels sprout hybrid. I think this product will be the next big thing in the cruciferous vegetable craze and will keep consumer focus on foods that are healthy and have a bit of balancing bitterness.

They can be used as a sautéed vegetable, tossed in salads, or used in stir-fries. The tiny leaves catch and hold any sauce that you add. Try stir-frying halved MFC Kalettes with sesame oil; allow to brown slightly to develop nutty flavor, then add teriyaki sauce, duck sauce, and a dash of soy sauce. They are equally good just sautéed in olive oil with salt and pepper, Ready-Set-Serve Peeled Garlic, and halved MFC Grape Tomatoes. They make a great slaw: chop in the food processor, then mix with RSS Shredded Carrots, diced MFC Apples, chopped nuts, and raisins. Dress with mayonnaise, cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.

Good eating!

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods

Pickling Ideas

Q: Sour flavors are very popular, as evidenced by the proliferation of pickled items. What are your favorite produce items to pickle?

I love making pickles using traditional cucumbers, adding assorted peppers like Fresno, Jalapeno, and Serrano varieties. I also like to add interesting flavors like cloves, cardamom, coriander seeds, horseradish, or ginger. Some other ideal pickling ingredients include okra, green beans, Cipollini onions, and garlic. Preserved lemons are another excellent way to add sour flavors to a dish.

Good eating!

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods

MFC Tuscan Blend

Q: What Markon First Crop (MFC) product is your favorite?

I'm working a lot with MFC Tuscan Blend right now; it contains Tango, Oak, Lolla Rosa, Leaf, and Sweet Gem lettuces. This product has year-round availability, robust flavor, and hearty texture that stands up very well to vinaigrettes and dressings.

Good eating!

Chef Simon Manvell, Gordon Food Service Canada

Thanksgiving Produce Dishes

Q: Thanksgiving is coming up. What are your favorite holiday produce items?

Some of my favorite ideas include topping roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon and maple syrup butter, mixing fresh cranberry relish with chopped MFC Oranges and toasted walnuts, and roasting MFC Granny Smith Apples to make in-house cider seasoned with brown sugar and nutmeg.

Good eating!

Jeffrey Merry, Reinhart Foodservice

Ready-Set-Serve Brussels Sprouts

Q: What new Markon First Crop or Ready-Set-Serve product are you enjoying this year?

Ready-Set-Serve Brussels Sprouts are an on-trend, versatile ingredient every kitchen can use. Try stir-frying them with bacon and Markon First Crop Onions or pan roasting them with chestnuts.

Good eating!

Jeffrey Merry, Reinhart Foodservice

Specialty Ingredients for Winter

Q: What specialty ingredient do you look forward to working with this winter?

Ready-Set-Serve Kale Sprouts are a natural hybrid of kale and Brussels sprouts. This new-to-market product is exciting to serve during a season typically full of root vegetables. I love to lightly saute them with Markon First Crop Red Delicious Apples, candied pecans, and dried cranberries—delicious with a drizzle of apple cider vinaigrette.

Good eating!

Jeffrey Merry, Reinhart Foodservice

Using Brussels Sprouts

Q: What is your favorite Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) product and how do you suggest incorporating it into recipes?

RSS Brussels Sprouts are not only easy to prep and use, they are very on-trend. I love their versatility. They are fantastic tossed with extra virgin olive oil and roasted in a very hot oven until the outer leaves begin to get crispy. For a fresh application, slice on a mandolin and mix with a vinegar-based slaw dressing, candied pecans, and shaved MFC Red Onions—this dish adds great balance to rich meals.

Good eating!

Chef: Matt Ryland
Chef Matt Ryland, Shamrock Foods Company

Using Fresh Ripe Tomatoes

Q: What was your favorite vegetable during childhood and how do you use it today?

I always loved fresh ripe tomatoes tossed in a little vinegar and seasoning. Today I continue to love this application, but use different products such as extra virgin olive oil, aged Balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, and creamy Burrata cheese.

Good eating!

Chef: Matt Ryland
Chef Matt Ryland, Shamrock Foods Company

Summer to Fall Flavor Transitions

Q: What flavors do you like to showcase as menus shift from summer to fall?

I focus on products that reach their flavor peak during this time. For instance, cabbage is much sweeter in the fall. Beets, chard, kale, and pumpkin all work well in fall menus. Carrots harvested in the fall are a go-to product for me. Roasted, raw, or blanched, they have the sweetest flavor and pair well with honey and seasonings like nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground cloves.

Good eating!

Chef: Bud Andersen
Chef Bud Andersen, Ben E. Keith Foods

MFC Asparagus

Q: What is your favorite Markon First Crop (MFC) vegetable product for summer? How do you use it?

MFC Asparagus is by far my favorite summer vegetable. The dark green color and tenderness of this product allows chefs to use it in a variety of recipes. I like to pickle spears and use them as Bloody Mary garnishes. They are delicious grilled or combined with other summer vegetables to create unique side salads.

Good eating!

Chef: Eamon Lee
Chef Eamon Lee, Maines Paper & Food Service

RSS Grapefruit Sections

Q: What’s your favorite Markon First Crop or Ready-Set-Serve fruit product? How do you like to prepare and/or serve it?

I love RSS Grapefruit and RSS Orange Sections. The time it takes to prepare and clean segments for salads and desserts can reduce kitchen efficiency. I like to make a salad of RSS Grapefruit Sections, Sliced RSS Avocado Halves, hearts of palm, and MFC Arugula tossed with vinaigrette made with RSS Grapefruit Juice.

Good eating!

Chef Michael Showers, Nicholas & Company

RSS Salads

Q: Summer is nearly here—what are your favorite Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) products to use during the hot months?

RSS Shredded Kale Blend as well as salad mixes like RSS Hearts & Hearts and RSS Heritage Blend are favorites due to their high quality and ease of use. I love how they save time in the kitchen and provide consistent presentation.

Good eating!

Chef: Mark Emery
Chef Mark Emery, Gordon Food Service Canada

RSS Hearts & Hearts Blend

Q: Ready-Set-Salad (RSS) salad mixes provide a delicious base for a wide variety of house and side salads. What are your favorite RSS salads and how do you use them?

I’ve been in love with RSS Hearts & Hearts Blend for some time. The extreme color difference makes a fabulous presentation, while the delicate lettuce flavors pair well with grilled fish or poultry and citrus dressings.

Good eating!

Chef Dan Chrzanowski, Shamrock Foods Company

Gluten-Free Choices

Q: Vegetables are an ideal fit for gluten-free diets. Is this an opportunity for commercial foodservice menus?

Gluten-free is a huge opportunity in commercial foodservice, but not in the way you might think. The number of people in the U.S. with actual celiac disease is quite small, but because recent scientific reports suggest gluten consumption can cause acid gut, joint inflammation, and early aging due to excess free radicals, many people are trying to consume fewer grains. Enhancing the menu with richly flavored, gluten-free vegetable dishes is a solid sales building opportunity that I feel will remain for quite some time.

Good eating!

Chef: Gerry Ludwig
Chef Jerry Ludwig, Gordon Food Service

Using RSS Color Shred Organic Carrots

Q: Markon now offers Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Color Shred Organic Carrots. I love tossing them into salads—how else can I use them on the menu?

They are great in stir-fries and vegetable medleys. They cook quickly for service on a fast-paced line and can be done “to order", providing a fresh, nutritious vegetable that hasn’t been hanging around on a steam table. They are also a perfect solution for stand-alone salads such as carrot-raisin salad, carrot-fennel slaw, and carrot-broccoli slaw.

Good eating!

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods