This March, the Blueberry Council sponsored the Research Chefs Association (RCA) Conference in Denver. The Council connected with professionals in the business of food research and development who are responsible for producing menu items for large chain restaurants. A survey conducted during the conference showed they loved what blueberries can bring to the table.
For the event, the Council enlisted the help of blueberry ambassador Chef Jason Morse, who created unique dishes for sampling at the conference. Attendees were wowed by pork tacos with pickled vegetables topped with a ginger and blueberry chutney, pork tacos with slaw, caramelized onions and blueberry BBQ sauce, and a quinoa salad with torched blueberries, sun dried tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese with a lemon blueberry vinaigrette. During the opening reception, guests also enjoyed a trendy and refreshing blueberry Moscow mule.
Leaders in the field of culinology, or the blending of culinary arts and the science of food, at the event were excited about blueberries. Survey results showed that the RCA Conference was a great success in two big ways:
•On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being highest, attendees gave the Blueberry Council’s booth information, samples and materials a 7.8 rating based on how relevant the materials were to their business.
•Using the same scale, attendees gave the Blueberry Council’s booth information, samples and materials an 8.2 rating based on how motivated they were to consider using more blueberries following the conference.
The Council is excited to return to the RCA conference in 2017 to reconnect with this important audience in the restaurant industry.