In an effort to stay on top of trends and deliver relevant products and information to the foodservice community, Farmland Foodservice has formed its first Operator Advisory Board consisting of five celebrated chefs, each with a unique culinary style. The pork provider brought the group together for a year of ongoing innovation labs and discovery conversations to unearth out-of-the-box thinking on pork applications and insights into how pork can be more effectively marketed and delivered to the chef community.
The Operator Advisory Board members include the following:
- John Coletta, executive chef and managing partner of Quartino in Chicago
- Nathan Nichols, chef de cuisine at Graham and Dun, a Kansas City gastro pub
- Rob Magee, former Hilton chef turn entrepreneur, now opening a barbeque restaurant in Kansas City
- John Chiakulas, executive chef of the Lettuce Entertain You chain in Chicago
- Richard Ginn, chef at Davanti Enoteca in Chicago
“These culinary experts were chosen for Farmland’s first Operator Advisory Board, not only for their culinary excellence but for their passion for pork,” says Chip Morgan, Farmland Foodservice brand manager. “These pork advocates will allow Farmland to dive deep into what our customers want and what they are doing with pork products.”
The Operator Advisory Board held their first meeting this summer at The Chopping Block in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. The chefs discussed menu trends, such as the farm to table trend; consumer issues, including gluten-free diets and consumer perception of fully cooked pork and its pink appearance; and specifics of using pork. The chefs also go their hands dirty – literally – in the kitchen using different cuts of pork and turning them into their own unique creations:
- Chef John Coletta used the flat iron cut to create an innovative pork salad with fruit and arugula, first curing the meat to achieve a whiter, less pink appearance.
- Chef Nathan Nichols used the boneless butt to prepare a succulent roast, braised in sweet tea then glazed and paired with arugula.
- Chef Rob Magee used the pork medallions to prepare an appealing entrée reflecting the trend toward lighter dishes with a refreshing apple relish as the star ingredient.
- Chef John Chiakulas used pork medallions to create a lively Mexican-inspired dish and also prepared Farmland Food’s new CarveMaster Ham with an orange habanero glaze for an impressive buffet application.
- Chef Richard Ginn used pork tenderloin to prepare a dish incorporating fresh herbs, arugula and tomatoes.