Michael Casey, Managing Partner of Storey Hospitality was recently featured in Food Service and Equipment Magazine and shared his thoughts on the latest in food trends. Below are some highlights from the article, Can Plant-Based Menus Go Mainstream, by Amelia Levin:
As consumers continue to eat cleaner and more healthful foods, operators are taking notice. And action.
Restaurant staff education specific to healthy dining is currently lacking, says Michael Casey, Managing Partner of San Francisco-based Storey Hospitality. The 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry is also a former operator of Michelin Star restaurants. “The expectations of customers are so much greater than the training commitments to all staff members, both front and back of house,” he says. “It takes menu evolution and the education of staff to support healthy dining.”
To evolve, chefs will need to willingly embrace the change and challenge their own traditional training and expectations, says Casey. “We operate a small hotel in California, and that chef is listening to customers,” he says. “He was willing to take French cooking that doesn’t embrace these trends and reengineer it to be gluten free and vegan. That’s what we need to see and what we will see moving forward; the evolution timeline and how aggressive they’ll be will be very interesting.”
The trend in menu transparency, and particularly how that appeals to Millennials, will benefit plant-based trends, Casey believes. “The spotlight on food allergies and transparency expectations is increasing all the time,” he says. “Customers are concerned with how foods are sourced and produced; eating healthier will soon become the norm rather than the exception.”
Casey also sees combi ovens as a fixture for preparing these food items as the steam option provides a healthier cooking method and a setting flexibility allows operators to use less oil than traditional cooking methods. “Steam kettles are handy in terms of infusing broths into menus, and we’re finding dehydrators are useful in creating healthy snacks, concentrating flavors and retaining the nutritional value of foods,” he says.
Read the entire article here.