Sodexo Introduces Local Artisan; New Café Celebrates Local Communities and the Ingredients They Offer
June 27, 2012
New chef-driven dining concept connects people to their local community while at work
GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 27, 2012—Sodexo, Quality of Daily Life Solutions provider, is bringing together communities and the people who work in them with its new farm-to-table, chef-driven dining concept, Local Artisan. Recently launched at the renowned National Geographic headquarters building located in downtown Washington, D.C., Local Artisan transforms corporate cafés by providing a delicious and locally-grown menu full of food that travels a simple and responsible path from the farm to the customer. Carefully orchestrating the symphony of flavors is the Chief Artisan, a specially selected chef whose primary focus is ensuring that hand-picked, fresh ingredients are at the heart of each menu.
The centerpiece of Local Artisan is the community table. Here, the Chief Artisan highlights local and seasonal ingredients that are used in daily menu planning. Customers can come together at the community table where they are greeted by the Chief Artisan, enjoy the day’s offering, learn more about the ingredients featured, or participate in healthy-cooking demonstrations.
Further expanding on Sodexo’s commitment to the communities in which it operates, Local Artisan creates a farm-to-table experience for guests as they meet with local growers who come directly to the cafe. Gregg Keckler, owner/farmer of Orchard County Produce, Cumberland County, Pa., hosted a farm stand at National Geographic and diners were so enthusiastic about the heirloom apples and winter crop root vegetables that this spring he started bringing fresh produce weekly. Keckler collaborates with National Geographic’s Chief Artisan Matt Crudder on ways to incorporate peak-season produce into the menu. Using a recent crop of rhubarb and lemon balm, Crudder created a wildly popular lemon balm scented pound cake with a blackberry–rhubarb compote. He dried the excess lemon balm to use as a marinade for local, line-caught, grilled Wreckfish, also known as Stone Bass.
“The Chief Artisan at each location is the bridge between the food and the local community—it’s all about the stories that the food provides at the table,” said Local Artisan Culinary Director Robert Maluso. “Providing people a way to get engaged in their dining experience is creating excitement at our locations, and customers enjoy taking the time to stop and talk with our chefs about what they are eating and how it’s prepared.”
Sodexo plans to open 10 Local Artisan locations in the coming year. Local Artisan is aligned with the commitments in Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow Plan, the company’s sustainability journey which includes sourcing local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients; providing varied and balanced food options; and supporting the local communities that we serve. Locations can make progress on these commitments using Sodexo’s technology-driven solutions such as the LeanPath tool to reduce food waste and the SMART tool, Sodexo’s proprietary comprehensive dashboard that helps establish baseline sustainability performance, prioritize initiatives and track continuous improve in four key best practice areas – energy planning and efficiency, water and waste reduction, healthy/sustainable food, and the environment.
Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Daily Life Solutions company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Service Solutions in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, and Motivation Solutions such as Esteem Pass. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $17 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.
Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Daily Life Solutions
Quality of Life plays an important role in the progress of individuals and the performance of organizations. Based on this conviction, Sodexo acts as a partner for companies and institutions that place a premium on performance and employee well-being, as it has since Pierre Bellon founded the company in 1966. Sharing the same passion for service, Sodexo’s 413,000 employees in 80 countries design, manage and deliver an unrivaled array of Quality of Life Services. Sodexo has created a new form of service business that contributes to the fulfillment of its employees and the economic, social and environmental development of the communities, regions and countries in which it operates.