Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chefs with a Social Conscious: Eclectic Soul, LLC

As a consumer, I often research how a company does business, including their commitment to the community around them, the community at large, and their philanthropic achievements. I often choose do to business with a certain company over another based off of this viewpoint.

I am proud to say that I have seen in many of the Jet-Chef members that the Personal Chefs and Caterers also give back to the community around them. One such Personal Chef is Leslie Woodward of Eclectic Soul, LLC, based in New York City. You can also find her Eclectic Soul listing on

In her own words, from the Eclectic Soul website: "Eclectic Soul LLC is a multi-tiered social organization founded by Leslie Woodward. Through the organization, Leslie will use her culinary and nutritional expertise to target the health disparities in communities of color, while creating resources to reduce hunger in South Africa. Programs will be developed in South Africa to support local farms in providing produce and creating meal and grocery services for those that are in outlying, underserved communities.

The goal is to make whole foods available and accessible in underserved communities, both locally and abroad. The Eclectic Soul organization will use a portion of Leslie's profits to support local cooking classes in high schools throughout the New York area. The classes will educate youth on the importance of eating whole and nutrient dense diets to eliminate nutrient deficient diseases.

Leslie's goals for Eclectic Soul are already underway. In June she traveled to South Africa to establish relationships and gather ideas and resources. In addition, through her work with the Food & Finance High School in lower Manhattan, she has laid the groundwork for a successful after-school program. When partnering with Leslie for your next social event, or nutrition plan, you will be helping her give back to these deserved communities."

Chef Leslie's philosophy is simple: “I believe in using the freshest and finest ingredients available within season — quality is of the utmost importance. I am dedicated to providing the most creative, delicious, healthy food and increasing the availability and accessibility of healthier options within various communities.”

Chef Leslie also has a very holistic manner in her Personal Chef Services with a focus on nutrition and wellness. Her website states that: "Comprehensive nutritional programs are customized to meet individual health needs and concerns. The primary focus is on preventive health care, and how to choose the right kinds of foods and nutritional supplements to support and heal the body. The program will put you on the path to obtaining optimum health!"

And the Eclectic Soul menu options to help you achieve such goals are mouth-watering just to read! Just a snapshot of one menu for cocktail parties or appetizers:

• pulled bbq pork on cornbread blini with sautéed collard greens & leeks
• eight cheese macaroni & cheese on baguette toast
• fried green tomato lollipops & fried okra lollipops with remoulade sauce
• plantain chips topped with rice & peas, curried lamb, & micro greens
• plantain chips with black-eyed pea salsa
• deviled quail eggs on rye with boursin
• fried chicken drumettes with curried gravy dipping sauce

So, when work with Chef Leslie with Eclectic Soul, you not only get fantastic and healthy food options, you are also helping her to give back to her immediate community, and the global community. What an amazing way to help yourself and help others!

You can contact Chef Leslie at the Eclectic Soul, LLC website or via email at Please let her know that you saw her on!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I received several emails and a comment or two regarding my last post on food trends. I even received an email stating that I missed a big dietary trend, "pescatarianism". According to Wikipedia, pescatariamism "is a dietary choice, in which a person — known as a pescetarian — eats the flesh of fish or of other non-mammalian aquatic animals but will not eat the flesh of non-aquatic animals or aquatic mammalian animals. Other animal products like eggs and dairy may be part of a pescetarian diet."

Well, that sent me back for more research, and I found a very interesting list online from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Some food trends for is yet another list! It will be interesting to see which of these trends will impact the inflight catering industry as well!

Food & Wine magazine:

Old-fashioned candy

Wild American shrimp (pescatarianism!)

Muesli will become more popular than granola

Chef-run noodle bars

Barrel-aged beers

Chardonnay from Oregon

Haute frozen food

Mintel International Group (Chicago-based market research firm):

Functional waters (those with added nutrients)

Virtually anything fair trade

Ancient grains, such as amaranth, quinoa and teff (I fell in love with quinoa while traveling and studying in Peru!)

Easy-to-understand nutritional labels (finally!)

Baum & Whiteman Co. (restaurant consultants):

More restaurants will accept takeout orders via text messaging

Restaurants with ultraspecialized menus (such as breakfast cereal or grilled cheeses)

Cocktails enhanced with functional foods

Offal (entrails and internal organs of butchered animals)

Korean food

Have any trends that you are forecasting that you would care to share? Jet-Chef would love to hear your ideas, and is would love to have "guest bloggers" sharing their views on food, inflight catering, service trends and more!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Food Trends

According to several online and print sources that I have read recently, including one of my favorites, Cooking Light Magazine, there are a few food trends that are also becoming trends in the aviation catering industry!

Flexitarianism: Flexitarianism is a primarily plant-based diet with occastion protein from sources such as lean meat, fish, poultry and dairy. According to the American Dietetic Association, as many as 1/4 of Americans are Flexitarianists, as they are preparing and consuming meatless meals about 4 days a week!

Many requests for inflight catering fit this bill, cheese and cracker platters, fruit and veggie platters and even seafood platters make for light "snacking" type meals that are easy to serve and easy to consume. Smaller and lighter meal options help travelers stick to their diets and still keep them energized!

Organic Foods: Organic is a huge trend, even at my favorite grocery store at least 1/3 of the produce area has transitioned into organic produce! While many consumers find organic produce to be expensive, it is great to invest in the items that are most affected with higher concentration of pesticides.

Here is a list from

Nectarines – 97.3% of nectarines sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Celery – 94.5% of celery sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Pears – 94.4% of pears sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Peaches – 93.7% of peaches sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Apples – 91% of apples sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Cherries – 91% of cherries sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Strawberries – 90% of strawberries sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Imported Grapes – 86% of imported grapes (i.e. Chile) sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Spinach – 83.4% of spinach sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Potatoes – 79.3% of potatoes sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Bell Peppers – 68% of bell peppers sampled were found to contain pesticides.
Red Raspberries – 59% of red raspberries sampled were found to contain pesticides.

So, while affordability is a factor, spending a bit more on these produce items will pay off in longterm health benefits!

Here is a great guide to experimenting with your own Organic Gardens!

Click here to find out more about this great guide!

Many clients are asking about and for organic elements in their inflight catering, and this trend will continue to grow as organic product becomes more and more accessible.

Locally Grown Foods/Produced Foods: Many consumers are turning to local farms and farmers markets for their produce, cheeses, breads, etc. For produce, from the time it is picked to the time you are choosing it in a local grocery store produce bin, that produce has traveled over 1500 miles for an average of 4-7 days! In that time, produce loses much of its nutrients, and often, at least to my palate, much of its taste!

Consumers find fresher produce and food products when buying locally, and often find varieties and variations that are uncommon and interesting. Buying direct can help impact pricing, and you can make specific requests for unique varieties of produce from a local farmer or supplier that a produce manager of a grocery store chain may not be able to accomodate.

For inflight catering it is equally important to factor in freshness and variety. For a fresh fruit platter, it would be exciting to add different varieties of apples, pears, and other fruit offerings. This brings new colors, tastes and separates you from the competition! Clients flying private jets and chartering jets are sophisticated food enthusiasts, and you will build true client loyalty by offering unique, healthy and delicious selections!

For more questions or input on inflight catering trends, feel free to contact me at or toll-free at 1-877-774-1255!