Onsite Garden Boosts Local - CulinArt Group

Culinart News

Onsite Garden Boosts Local

February 1, 2021, SUMMIT, NJ- The CulinArt dining services team at a corporate dining client in suburban New Jersey is sourcing produce from near and not-so-far in its quest to create fresh, high-quality, sustainable meals. “The campus’ raised-bed gardens are a great success. They give us the opportunity to create specials and menu items using the vegetables we grew right on site,” said Tom Mahler, CulinArt’s General Manager. He attributes both the garden and local supplier market to the team’s ability to craft the freshest, seasonal recipes that customers appreciate. “It’s amazing how much product you can grow in a small amount of space,” Executive Chef Jack Yuksel says.

The campus has several gardens where the team grows a wide variety of produce including 30 pounds a week of tomatoes and an endless amount of herbs. They source additional ingredients and specialty items from a growing list of local farms and suppliers that comprise 40% of the operation’s total purchases. These relationships allow the team to introduce customers to this supplier network and encourage them to help sustain it. “Our chefs show them how to purchase sustainably, to help people eat better,” Mahler says. At a recent farmers’ market hosted onsite, the dining team sold 80% of its inventory and used the rest for menu specials.

This article is an excerpt from Compass Group’s “Our Story 2020” Corporate Social Responsibility report. Click here to view the CSR full report.

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  • February 5, 2021
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What our clients are saying

“We want to take a moment to celebrate all the employees who worked on the front lines during unprecedented times. Your efforts and dedication to going above and beyond are noticed and appreciated. Thank you for being the heart and soul of CulinArt Group. We couldn’t do this without you. Chef Jay and Chef Paul have been so awesome in the Hubbell Café.  There has been significant change, but they take it in stride and keep the delicious food coming.  We truly appreciate them!”

“Thank you for including me today in the food waste demonstration/[chef competition] and flattering me with the role of “judge.” I will proudly don the [Stop Food Waste Day] apron the next time I plan an “event” in our own kitchen. I think this is a very worthwhile cause and the statistics you read off are staggering. They, alone, can intimidate a home chef, let alone be the “driver’ for a professional one.”

“Even though we see challenges every day, each one of you rises to the occasion and makes it seem so easy. I cannot express how impressive it is to see you all work in such a fashion. You are true professionals.”

“I have really appreciated the wonderful cafeteria staff we have via Culinart and the thoughtful meals they provide our kids. They're truly one in a million. I have also really appreciated the dedication Parker and CulinArt share to sustainability and green practices on campus. I am so thankful that Parker has chosen CulinArt, a company that shares Parker values, and that they took the time and effort at such a hard time to make sure that Parker is always on the forefront of green practices and safety - never compromising.”

“What a wonderful dinner we had tonight for our international families. The food was delicious and well presented as well.”

“I will say that CulinArt has always been a very collaborative partner to T. Rowe Price, listening to our current needs and future goals and suggesting realistic and achievable strategies to meet those goals.  2020 was obviously no exception.  CulinArt also altered other areas of our OCS and pantry programs to create safer environments for all our associates. We can only thank you for your continued flexibility and innovative ideas through these difficult times.”

“I just wanted to express my thanks and give two thumbs up for the updates to our lunch menu. My selections have been quite tasty—corned beef Reuben, jambalaya—and I appreciate that, too! I am looking forward to trying some new items in the coming weeks. Keep up the good work!”

“With all the prep work from Winterim ramping up and classes continuing as usual, it's a busy time to be a Forman teacher. Imagine my delight, tired as I was, when I delved into the upscale-restaurant-quality chicken parmesan our dining hall served last night. Forman is all about support, and providing our students with a dinner of that quality is just as important a measure of support as anything that happens in a classroom.”

“We appreciate the excellent service that is a hallmark of the Chadwick Culinart team. You all are such professionals - and you always deliver your service in such a pleasant manner! Thank you for everything you do to help make the Village events successful. We greatly appreciate your talents, efforts, and kindness.”

“I ALWAYS feel spoiled by the meal offerings at CSW (The Cambridge School of Weston) and am entirely grateful for it. As I eat today's delicious and lavish lunch (and think about yesterday's as well), I can't tell you how much I feel so well cared for here, both with the food and by the dining hall staff. CSW cares for us in so many ways, both big and small.”

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