In collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States, LPM & Affiliates, a food service management company specializing in contract foodservice management and catering for business and industry, schools, healthcare and cultural/entertainment venues, is launching a new line of plant-based action station concepts. LPM & Affiliates believes that increasing plant-based menu offerings that are healthy and sustainable will be exciting and delicious for customers and aligns with their corporate social responsibility to be good stewards of people and the planet.
On July 14, LPM and the HSUS convened in Hartford, Connecticut, with LPM chefs for a day of training on the new plant-based action station concept, which focuses specifically on dairy and protein alternatives, for a “Battle of the Burgers,” Iron Chef-style competition. Developed by the HSUS chef Jason Patel, the plant-based action station concepts include various bars like an Elote Nacho Bar, a Taco Bar, a Mediterranean Mezze Bar and even a Crepe Bar.
The competition honed in on the Burger Bar proteins, showcasing recipes for a “chicken” fried tofu sammy, a southwestern black bean burger and a blended plant-based “meat crumble” and mushroom burger. The competing chefs were also trained on newly developed side dish recipes like the kung pao cauliflower, elote salad and mujadera with fried onions. It was a tight competition in which the chefs were all within 1.5 points of each other, but ultimately the chef who prepared the southwestern black bean burger took the winning title.
Andrew Delano, director of programs and standards for LPM & Affiliates, said: “Plant-based options are a growing segment of the business and more sustainable food programs incorporating animal-free recipes and ideas are needed. Our chefs need to stay current, creative and innovative as we start the long climb back to pre-COVID-19 service levels.” The company intends to pledge an annual increase in plant-based menu offerings across their accounts, announcing a target goal in the coming weeks.
To support this pledge, the HSUS is excited to continue collaborating on delicious, chef-inspired plant-based recipe development. “LPM & Affiliates is truly inspiring and setting a bar for other Top 50 foodservice companies with these plant-based action station concepts; offering options that are good for animals, good for the planet and good for health is also good for business,” said Kate Watts, manager of foodservice innovation with the HSUS. “The company’s commitment and enthusiasm to make training and educating their staff fun and exciting through events like their ‘Battle of the Burgers’ competition makes this a unique and innovative relationship which we’re thrilled to be a part of.”