Nov 15, 2012 • By

Serving up food for foodies

I attended the International Foodservice Editorial Conference in Nashville last week. In all of my years in public relations, I’ve never experienced anything quite like IFEC.

It’s a conference just for food publicists (like me) and the editors from the foodservice magazines like Nation’s Restaurant News, Food Management, QSR, and School Nutrition (just to name a few).

IFEC gives General Mills the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the top foodservice industry media and also showcase our foodservice products.

The foodservice industry includes restaurants, hotels, school cafeterias from elementary to colleges, and basically anywhere you get food away from home.

While a lot of time and attention is focused on pitching stories to the editors during something called office hours (which is set up much like speed dating), the true highlight is the food!

I’ve been coming to IFEC on behalf of General Mills since 2006. I’m proud to say that our food offerings get better every year because of our very talented chefs in General Mills Culinary Center.

Here’s a look at some of the amazing food we showcased this year from General Mills Foodservice, prepared by our very own Chef Nicklas Frolander.

To kick off the conference, we welcomed IFEC attendees to Nashville with a creative dessert that featured our Gold Medal baking mix. These double chocolate trifle push pops are made with our Gold Medal chocolate cake mix and a whipped yogurt mousse made with Yoplait Greek yogurt. They certainly push dessert to a whole new level!

That same night General Mills sponsored the Chef Showcase. It’s one of my favorite events. Chefs from the host city participate by creating a dish with a sponsored product. We worked with Chef Sam Tucker from the famous Watermark restaurant (which was just featured in the popular television show Nashville).

Tucker created two amazing dishes using our Mountain High all natural yoghurt, which is an ideal yogurt for professional chefs. Here are a few pictures of his dishes.

(Photo: Smoked chicken, endive and creek shrimp salad in yogurt lemon and walnut oil dressing.)

(Photo: Yogurt panna cotta with candied pumpkin seeds and saba.)

On day two, we showcased our Pillsbury biscuits at the Singer/Songwriter reception (which was amazing considering our host city happened to be in the country music capital of the world). We partnered with the National Pork Board on this dish.

Here is a picture of Chef Nicklas serving up our mini pork belly sliders Nashville style. Yum!

At breakfast on the final day, we demonstrated just how easy it is to make partfaits using our new Yoplait ParfaitPro Greek Yogurt. This innovative product easily dispenses yogurt from a tube, which lets foodservice operators make parfaits in seconds.

Here is Chef Nicklas making Melon Whimsy Yogurt parfaits.

While all of these products were a big hit, I can’t wait to see how we can top these dishes with innovative new ideas next year.