Peanuts originated in South America 10,000 years ago, and their spread to the northern neighbor Mexico positions peanuts in this cuisine as authentic and traditional as it gets. Few cooking experts understand this better than Chef Iliana de la Vega. Originally from Mexico City, Chef Iliana’s calm and friendly demeanor belies a steely determination to share traditional regional Mexican cuisine within the US. Chef Iliana has established herself as the premiere expert on Latin cuisine, including receiving the prestigious Ohtli award from the Mexican government in 2014.
One-third of consumers worldwide prefer to buy food from sustainable brands.
That’s according to a recent surveyof 20,000 adults from five countries, including the U.S, which was conducted by Unilever – a transnational consumer goods company.
After attending Menus of Change(MOC), an annual summit hosted by the Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, I learned how the food service industry is making moves to listen to consumers’ concerns. The good news is that chefs and other food service leaders are working to improve environmental health – but there is still great need for change in one specific area: water sustainability.
Food inspiration can come from anywhere, anyone….or more specifically, from a battle against the clock at a Market Basket Challenge during the National Peanut Board’s Millennial Food Summit. The three-hour challenge tested attendees of the summit to create new food concepts that would contend with some of the millennial food trends we are seeing in today’s consumer market. Here are three creations that really hit the mark on flavor, creativity and overall highlighted use of peanuts.
America’s ever-changing menu trends are a key component in the evolution of the foodservice industry. Chefs and menu developers are able to capitalize on the dynamic nature of food and flavor preferences as a point of differentiation and an opportunity to customize their offerings for a unique food and beverage experience. At Flavor & The Menu, we think the following trends present big opportunities.
American-born Taiwanese Chef restauranteur Chris Cheung has quite the killer resume – having cooked with famed chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Vong and Jean-Georges. Currently, he serves as the executive chef of Tansuo restaurant in Nashville, and also runs NYC’s restaurant, East Wind Snack Shop – known for delicious dumplings and being one of the last standing Taoishan Tea Houses in NYC. But before all this came to be, Chris was living in China, studying dim sum in Hong Kong and farm-to-table cooking in the villages of Shanghai. Chinese cuisine isn’t just a passion for Chris, it has been his life’s passion. So naturally, the National Peanut Board wanted to know more and shot Chris five questions to learn more about the art behind his cuisine.
Chef Jernard Wells is the self-proclaimed Chef of Love. Famous for his time spent on Food Network Star and Cutthroat Kitchen, Chef Jernard believes food and love go hand-in-hand and wants everyone to know how easy cooking can be – and how much excitement it can add to your life. The National Peanut Board sat down and dug into how the Chef of Love shares his passion for food, social media, and of course, peanuts.
Robert Egger is the CEO of L.A. Kitchen, a non-profit that generates fresh meals for those in need, and provides inter-generational culinary training for underserved individuals. He’s also a founding board member of celebrity chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that brings together a network of chefs to help empower communities to rebuild after a natural disaster. Together, their organizations have partnered to help feed those affected by the fires.
Having boarded his 100th flight of the year, it’s fair to say that Chef Michael Levine spends a lot of time with his head in the clouds. But Mike stays grounded in a mission that matters. He is striving to end childhood hunger one meal at time. Through a company he founded, Global Food Solutions, which was recently named one of fastest growing companies by Inc.com, Mike is getting closer to that goal. We spoke to this Forbes 30 Under 30 winner about why he’s passionate about good food for kids, how he got to where he is today, where the industry headed and how peanuts play a part.
At Snackbar restaurant in Oxford, Mississippi, executive chef Vishwesh Bhatt is serving up Southern fare with global flare. His Indian roots add cultural influence to his culinary repertoire, but it’s common ingredients like peanuts that inspire his bold, global approach to Southern cuisine.
“Southern food is more than fried chicken and biscuits,” said Virginia Willis, James Beard Award-winning chef, cookbook author and Editor-at-Large for Southern Living magazine and author of the popular column “Cooking with Virginia.” Though many people associate Southern food with deep fried and butter-laden meals, Willis argues that misperception overlooks the rich cultural history and agricultural nature of the cuisine. She sees the regional fare as a wholesome way to use fresh, local ingredients, like peanuts; and she’s helping others rethink Southern food.
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