|ACF Workshops Address Catering and Nutrition Issues|
|Written by Mitch Kostuch|
|Monday, 16 July 2012 13:20|
ORLANDO, Fla. — Concurrent hour workshops are offering diverse content for delegates at the 2012 ACF National Convention meeting, which will run until July 17 at the Marriott World Centre in Orlando, Fla.
“The Business Tips for Successful Catering” workshop was directed to businesses whose principal activity is catering as well as those where catering is an adjunct to another form of foodservice. Mike Roman, president, CateringGuru.com. Inc, emphasized, “We don’t just sell food, we sell an experience, a performance. The chef must be the hero to the customer, he must be out front before the sale is made, and [he must be the] star at the event. After all, everyone has seen hero chefs on TV; that’s what customers are coming to expect.”
“There has never been a better time to be a caterer,” Roman emphasized. “Catering is the fastest-growing segment in foodservice,” growing at an estimated seven to 10 per cent per year. “More and more customers are demanding it, and they are loyal to the best provider for their future events, and they tell their friends about you,” added Roman. He offered dozens of tips. For example, offer three price choices for every menu item, and expect the middle one to be selected; establish a “go-no-go point” cap in selling the menu to a client based on how difficult the item is to serve. To explain, poached salmon could be rated a one, but veal marsala would be rated a 17 on a 29-point cap, unless the customer is prepared to pay more for the extra work required.
Dr. Michael S. Fenster, interventional cardiologist and author, held a workshop entitled “The Middle Path Across the Great Divide,” about the divide between strict adherence to nutritionally driven menus, such as the raw food menu, and pleasure-driven menus as seen on Man v. Food on the Travel Channel. Often known as Dr. Mike (whatscookingwithdoc.com), he is also the author of Eating Well, Living Better: The Grassroots Gourmet Guide to Good Health and Great Food. “Health versus pleasure in eating, that’s the muddled message consumers hear every day,” Fenster said. “The choice really is not between salvation through deprivation and indulging in weapons of mass consumption. The fact is that we all need: fats, the most efficient fuel our body has to use, and the source of essential fatty acids; salt, essential for all life; and sugars, a form of carbohydrate, [which] in the form of glucose is the most important food we eat.”
Trained and practising as a physician, martial artist and a chef, Fenster repeated words Hippocrates wrote long ago, saying, “Let thy medicine be thy food, and thy food be thy medicine.” As a chef, he knows that if the food does not taste good, it’s only medicine. As a martial artist, he understands the concept of balance and harmony, the need for yin and yang. He describes life as an experimental process and used a sailing analogy, saying systems must be in balance but cannot be taken for granted. To bridge the gap between “salvation through deprivation” and gastronomic gluttony, Fenster follows three basic principles that he calls the Threefold Path of Be’s. For more details, visit his website at whatscookingwithdoc.com.