The winners of the 5th annual Whole Grains Challenge have been announced. An initiative of Boston-based 501(c)3 educational nonprofit Oldways and its Whole Grains Council (WGC), the challenge encourages dining and foodservice outlets to come up with original and compelling ways to promote whole grain awareness and enjoyment.
Winners were chosen based on creative whole grain menu offerings and innovative promotions throughout the month of October. This year, a requirement was added to submit a favorite foodservice-scale whole grain recipe, which will be used to create a “Best of the Whole Grains Challenge” recipe packet, available to foodservice operators in January.
Entrants competed in nine categories. The winners are:
College/University: Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y., for "The Daily Grain" and "Try Me" marketing efforts, along with dishes such as "Cheesy Quinoa Pilaf with Spinach"
K-12 Public: Osseo School District, Maple Grove Minn., for developing recipes with locally based Cargill
K-12 Private: Winsor School, Boston, for their work on whole grain gluten-free options
K-12 Private, Honorable Mention: The Park School, Baltimore, MD, for conducting nutrition lessons, food demonstrations and taste tests
Quick Serve: Snap Kitchen, Houston and Austin, Texas, for their whole grain comfort food makeovers, like quinoa "fried rice"
Fast Casual/Family: Casa de Luz, Austin, Texas, for their dedication to using only whole grains and lesser-known grains like amaranth, quinoa, teff and millet
Healthcare (tie): St. Peter's Hospital, Helena, Mont., and Westlake Medical Center, Austin, Texas, for St. Peter’s cooking demonstration of whole grains for people with diabetes, and Westlake Medical Center’s explanation of the nutritional benefits of whole grains to staff so they could help patients and families understand their importance
Workplace: Eurest Dining, Compass Group, Mid-Atlantic, for their whole grain options and incentives
Lodging/Catering: White Horse Village, Newtown Square, Pa., for their displays, sample trays for guests and flyers created to educate and inspire
Other: Atwater's bakery café, Baltimore, for its commitment to whole foods, including whole grains on every menu, all day
Winners will receive a framed medal and a variety of whole grain foods to try on their menus, donated by members of the Whole Grains Council. In addition, all who entered will be added to the corresponding sections of the "Eating Away From Home" web page on the site.