Many large corporations and universities offer cafeterias of one sort or another for their students and employees and they are usually the last place you’d expect to find a local, organic or sustainable lunch. Maisie Greenawalt is Vice President of Strategy for Bon Appétit Management Company, a food service provider that is changing that fact for many large companies. Although we’d sooner expect to find processed mac-and-cheese inside the cafeterias of most large corporations, Bon Apetit is transforming the lunch lines in places like Yahoo! and Target to incorporate meals that are not only made from scratch but are local, sustainable and animal-friendly.
When it comes to making changes in our food system, most of us are making the effort to eat more responsibly through our own personal shopping and cooking habits, but we’re thrilled to see companies like Bon Apetit create comprehensive change for hundreds of corporate diners all at once. Through their Farm to Fork program, a company-wide initiative to buy locally, and their bar-setting standards at the forefront of food service: following Seafood Watch sustainability guidelines, offering cage-free only eggs, rBGH-free milk and cruelty free meat, Bon Apetit is pointing food service at this scale in the right direction.
Whether food services falls under the umbrella of your professional responsibility in some way or, like us, you just love seeing progress in the sustainability of our food supply, catch Maisie Greenawalt speaking during TEDxManhattan this weekend. For those of you who want to get right down to business, here is a healthy recipe from Bon Apetit’s executive chef, Dean Holliday.
Farm-To-Table Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables
3 lbs chicken thighs, bone-in and skinless
1 lb carrots
1 lb parsnips, peeled
1 lb sweet potatoes
1 lb turnips
2 T olive or canola oil
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
3 cups balsamic vinegar
1 T sesame seeds
Cut the carrots into 1-inch pieces. Cut the parsnips, sweet potatoes, and turnips into 1 inch cubes.
Combine the chicken thighs, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnips, oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl and toss well.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place the chicken and vegetables into a
roasting pan and place into oven. Bake until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees, approximately 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, reduce the vinegar to a third of original volume, approximately 20 minutes.
In a dry pan over low heat, toast sesame seeds until fragrant.
Toss the cooked chicken and vegetables in the vinegar reduction. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve
Watch TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” on Saturday, February 16th from 10:30am est to 5:45pm est!