SATech is an event organized and executed by Student Affairs professionals and is focused around connecting professionals and sharing knowledge in regards to technology within Student Affairs. The “unconference” model allows attendees to dictate the conversation and help assist in networking and learning. On July 28th and 29th, the SATech Unconference came to Chicago and was hosted by Northwestern University. NUCuisine Catering was the sole food provider for this 2 day event and had the challenge of not only creating wonderful menus for 3 separate meals, but also find ways to incorporate technology into the menu and the food.
NUCuisine used the conferences hashtag #satechCHI throughout the event to tweet out to the conference attendees all of the local ingredients used to create the dishes on their mouth watering menus. Sunday evening at the kickoff reception Executive Chef Brian Wagner put together a Himalayan lamb loin served with a Tandoori style fingerling potato salad and a cherry chutney featuring Michigan cherries. The menu also featured a toasted baguette with local honey from Verona, WI and goat cheese foam.
Breakfast and lunch on the 29th featured a plethora of local products, including spinach and basil grown at the Wild Roots Garden here at Northwestern, chicken from Harrison Poultry Farm in Glenview, IL and a fresh pound cake from Tags Bakery in Evanston. At breakfast, there was yogurt served in syringes and an action station featuring corn dogs smothered in local honey. For the vegetarian option, NUCuisine made a ratatouille stuffed zucchini, using zucchini from Schroeder Produce in Wisconsin. There was a smoked spinach, arugula and lolla rossa salad with fresh strawberries, queso fresco and candied pecans. The spinach, which was from the Wild Roots Garden was smoked to order so guests were able to see, smell and taste the smoking process.
Using local and sustainable ingredients is something that is close to NUCuisine’s heart and has the ability to take a menu from good the great. The feedback from the local and technological menu was overwhelming, conference attendees were tweeting about the food almost as much as the actual conference. Everything from the preparation to the execution was a prime display of how NUCuisine surpasses your typical collegiate dining program.