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ARAMARK Chefs Compete to Increase
New Sustainable Menu Items

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, Wash. - April 22, 2004 -- Chefs at ARAMARK Parks & Resorts will ensure that visitors see more green dishes at national parks - and they're not referring to a new china pattern.
To celebrate Earth Day, the National Park Service concessioner conducted a competition among 21 of its leading chefs to increase the sustainable cuisine items available on its many national park menus. The winning dish, the first of several to debut this season, will be introduced at Kalaloch Lodge in Olympic National Park and Lake Quinault Lodge in Olympic National Forest on April 24 by its creator, Chef Brandon Shubert, executive chef of Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas.

"Our guests appreciate and request local 

Kalaloch Lodge
157151 Hwy. 101
Forks, Washington
and organic foods. It's an easy decision to make - the food is fresher, the local community benefits from our business and, most importantly, we meet our guests' demands," said Doug Bradley, Director of Culinary Standards, ARAMARK. "As part of Planet EVERgreen(TM), our comprehensive greening program, we wanted to generate excitement among our executive chefs for the environmental and taste benefits of organic and sustainable cuisine through this competition."

During the competition, held in February at ARAMARK's annual chef training program with the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa, Calif., chef teams created three entrees and an appetizer using items such as Hearst Ranch Grass Fed Beef, seafood from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch List's "Best Choices" and organic, locally grown produce. 

Dishes prepared at the competition included: 

  • Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut with Artichoke Ragout and Fennel Marscarpone Puree, 
  • Herb Crusted Hearst Ranch Sirloin with Cabernet Reduction and Wild Mushroom and Pearl Onion Ragout, and 
  • Pan Roasted Free Range Chicken with Heirloom Rainbow Bean Stew. 
The winning menu features Organic Greens and Calabacitas Salad in Crispy Tortilla Cup with Margarita Vinaigrette, Crispy Farm Raised Striped Bass atop Ancho Chili Polenta and Cilantro Verde Sauce, and Mascarpone Cinnamon Crisp with Fresh Berries and Mint.

Throughout the season, visitors to ARAMARK Parks & Resorts will find new menu items at the following national park dining locations:

Rainbow Room, Lake Powell in the Glen Canyon Recreation Area, Arizona
Executive Chef Brandon Shubert will debut a menu which features Hearst Ranch Grass Fed Beef, locally grown organic herbs and vegetables from nearby Page High School, and farm-raised striped bass, one of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list "Best Choices."

Metate Room, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Executive Chef Todd Halnier will serve up a range of innovative items, including Cactus Dip, using locally-sourced prickly pear cactus leaves; Tequila Cured Atlantic Farm-Raised Salmon, Farm-Raised Buffalo Fajitas, Orange Molasses Atlantic Farm-Raised Salmon, Chili-Rubbed Farm-Raised Elk Tenderloin, Cedar Plank Rocky Mountain Trout and Colorado-grown fresh organic vegetables and fruits.

Nenana View Grille, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Executive Chef Bill Wallace will offer a menu that features Herb Roasted Alaskan Halibut with Saffron Infused Warm Grains and a Tomato Broth, Crab Cake with Dill and Scallion Aioli, and Alaskan Seafood Stew with Wild Caught Salmon. As always, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch List "Best Choices," such as halibut, clams and mussels, will be offered to diners.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Executive Chef Kevin Blakeley has designed a menu that includes: Local Farm Raised Trout Stuffed with Zucchini, Pepper and Tomato served with Heirloom Rice and Organic Spring Greens with Grape Tomatoes, Local Mushrooms and Wheat Crisps with House Made Blackberry Vinaigrette.

Kalaloch Lodge Restaurant, Kalaloch Lodge, Olympic National Park & The Roosevelt Room, Lake Quinault Lodge, Olympic National Forest, Washington
Executive Chef Otis Huemmer will serve Farm Raised Venison Tenderloin with Black Currant Demiglace, local plank salmon and Creme Brulee, using milk free of rBGH (Bovine Growth Hormone).

ARAMARK currently holds concession contracts within the following national parks: Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska (as part of a joint venture with Doyon, Limited); Ellis Island National Monument, N.Y.; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Ariz. and Utah; Mesa Verde National Park, Colo.; Muir Woods National Monument, Calif.; Olympic National Park, Wash.; Shenandoah National Park, Virginia and a river guide permit within Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. ARAMARK has been recognized nationally for its work at national parks, specifically, its commitment to environmental initiatives through its Planet EVERgreen(TM) environmental management system. In 2003, the National Park Service received the Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental and Green Government Award for its greening initiatives with ARAMARK at Denali National Park and Preserve.

ARAMARK Parks & Resorts
Kate Shields, 215-409-7403

Also See: Xanterra First Hospitality Company in the U.S. Granted the Chain of Custody Certification for Wild Alaska Salmon from the Marine Stewardship Council / December 2003
Driven by Desire to Do Right by the Environment, Chefs Wading Into Fisheries Management / July 2002

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