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Who's News in Catering for March 18, 2023

Hot Off the Presses

Last week, Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) unveiled its first-ever global foodservice trends report, Future Menu Trends Report 2023, as part of a two day culinary trends event hosted at Hive, Unilever’s global Foods Innovation Center in the Netherlands. The Future Menu Trends Report 2023 identified eight global menu trends predicted to impact the restaurant industry in the years to come. The report details the following trends:

  1. Irresistible Vegetables
  2. Modernized Comfort Food
  3. Low Waste Menus
  4. Wild & Pure
  5. Flavor Contrast
  6. Feel Good Food
  7. The New Sharing
  8. Mindful Proteins

To identify the trends, UFS gathered insights from 21 countries, 250 international UFS corporate chefs, 1600 chefs from independent and chain restaurants around the world and an analysis of over 77,000 search keywords. More than just a compilation of trends, the report showcases tips, insights, techniques, recipes and solutions that chefs and operators can easily implement on their menu. 


Al Frungillo, chair of premier food services company Gourmet Dining, LLC, announced a family donation of $1 million to help fund the future construction of an athletics practice facility at Seton Hall University. The Frungillo family gift will help Seton Hall complete the next step in its 10-year master plan to enhance facilities for all students and athletics programs. The expansion of the recreation center will include a new practice gym for men’s basketball and enhanced resources for women’s basketball and other athletics programs, as well as the entire Seton Hall community. 

People on the Move

Proof of the Pudding, an Atlanta staple since 1979 and one of the largest catering companies in the South, proudly announces the addition of regional executive chef Chris Buffin. Set to oversee operations at offsite locations: Douglasville Conference Center and The Carter Center, Chef brings along with him over 20 years of experience across kitchens on both the east and west coasts. Born and raised in San Diego, Calif., Buffin began his career at local fine dining establishments and renowned country clubs following his graduation from the Art Institute of California with a degree in culinary arts. From there, he quickly made a name for himself within the dining scene and worked his way up to executive chef before moving across the country in 2019 to Atlanta, where he served as the executive chef at Emory University, managing a $30 million food service operation at 15 campus locations before founding his own company, Swell Cuts. Forging his own path, he leveraged his years of culinary experience and crafted a series of services including: private chef experiences, knife sharpening, burger pop-ups, custom woodwork projects and more.  


The California Avocado Commission has hired food industry veteran Terry Splane to be the organization’s new vice president of marketing, effective March 13, 2023. Mr. Splane fills the role vacated by Jan DeLyser following her retirement last month. Terry has more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience in the foodservice and retail channels, most recently as Head of Partner Success & Strategy for Impossible Foods. Before working at Impossible Foods, Mr. Splane was Vice President of Marketing for Ventura Foods, LLC, for more than a decade. There he was responsible for the creation of the strategic marketing process, partner engagement, communications, product training, brand and product management and more. Prior to Ventura Foods, he served as Director of Marketing for McCormick & Co for six years.


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