Is fast food on a real food revolution? That seems to be a budding trend along with health and fitness in America. After movies like Food Inc. and Super Size Me, United States came to learn that the fast food industry was actually not using “real food” at all. With a sky rocketing obesity rate growing over the last 10 years, fast food chains began to offer what society started to ask for; real food. A low fat, real vegetable or fruit item was added to most menus. Then there was Subway and Chipotle, the pioneers of the “fresh” and “made your way” concept. These two very large national alternatives to fast food have shown strong in today’s society. It’s apparent that many restaurant leaders are going in the “fresh” direction because of this change of mentality in our society. Many fast food chains are headed in a better direction, and new fresh concepts are adding to the alternatives. Even classically trained chefs are trading in their white tablecloth restaurant for a fast casual setting.
That’s where this relates to me. I have been classically trained to cook in a contemporary environment for a small niche market. However, after working in fine dining for quite a while, I decided to bring the gourmet ideals to a “walk up order” concept. It allows you to eat the gourmet creations for a more affordable price and in a more casual setting. This ultimately grew my niche market to those that would not normally eat these sophisticated cuisine items that we offer. Which in turn, also brings people out of their comfort zone and introduces something new to eat that is flavorful yet better for you. Dive Coastal Cuisine is just that. With Dive as my starting point, I have found a passion for educating the public on different kinds of whole foods and just how easy it is to eat that way.
Companies have even approached me to help create their fast casual concept for them, using real foods instead of processed. I took on that challenge with a new concept called Bolo Italian Grill. If you haven’t seen me lately, that is where I have been. Getting that place up and running. It is not an expression of my style, but it is a concept that encompasses a new direction of our food industry, so I am very proud to be part of that revolution.
I have read that Chef’s with a fine-dining background provide credibility when they open a fast-casual establishment. Juelene Beck, a chain restaurant industry consultant in Cape Corral, Florida, says fine-dining chefs who shift their attention to fast-casual concepts often find an eager public ready to try their limited-service dishes.
This could be true with the new concept I am working on, however, I don’t want it to be perceived that way. I am more excited to be part of educating the public to start eating better. I’m excited to show people that food that is natural actually tastes good. I’m excited to get people excited about knowing what they are putting in their body and why it is so important for the future of our lives and our family’s lives.