June 24, 2014
Winning the Flavor War
from Chef Allan Gazaway
Flavor is near and dear the hearts of every chef. So when someone declares a war on flavor, as one student did during our Latin Flavors presentation at Georgia Southern, it’s time to fight back the only way we know how.
First, let me set the scene.
The newly built Food Theater facility at Georgia Southern seats about 1100 students. It is definitely not the student dining scene from my college years. This state-of-the-art facility includes its own food brands with everything from rotisseries to Asian wok stations and serves between 6000 and 7000 students a day. Also of note is a station that provides food options made without any of the big-8 allergens.
We unknowingly incited a flavor war as we prepared and served the following to the student body.
Adobo Braised Beef Nachos with White Queso and Pico
Chicken Poblano Tacos with Honey Citrus Pineapple and Jalapeño Slaw served with Pickled Chile Red Onions and Avocado Chile Crema
We also featured a very popular iced coffee station set up and manned by Julie Agan.
As we were serving, one student came up and dismantled the menu until she was left with only chips and queso. At this point my student assistant, Taylor Worsley, exclaimed with amazing vigor and volume ”What are you doing? Waging your own personal war on flavor?” This brought laughter from everyone in the room and encouraged the student to try things out of her norm.
In reviewing the students’ comment cards regarding each of the items served, I am thrilled to say that out of the 100 or so responses, flavor was the resounding victor!
We fight the flavor war every day, seeking to make every dining experience the best it can be. Quite often, patrons don’t know how good something can be until we show them. So, let’s vow to keep up the fight and we will continue to win with flavor on our side!