May 21, 2020

Harvest Table Culinary Group and Changing Tastes Dish Up A P

Bizclik Editor
3 min

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As the trend of plant-forward, sustainable and humane food continues to rise at college campuses across the country, Harvest Table Culinary Group together with Changing Tastes, took on the challenge and opportunity to reimagine one of the most popular dishes on college campuses today – hamburgers.

To cook up this new dish, Harvest Table Culinary Group first worked closely with local suppliers near the college campuses it serves to source grass-fed ground beef. Grass-fed beef provides animal welfare and environmental benefits, including supporting the local food system. While grass-fed beef is a healthier choice, it also has less fat, which can make it more challenging to cook and it can have a more distinctive flavor. In an effort to keep the burger's flavor profile attractive to student diners while using the sustainable, grass-fed beef, Harvest Table Culinary Group held workshops with its culinary team to create the perfect recipe.

The workshops led to a new burger recipe that features 70 percent grass-fed beef and 30 percent mushrooms. Mushrooms are used to add an umami flavor, instead of salt, as well as to add texture and moisture to make a tastier and healthier burger with a smaller carbon and water footprint. After several student taste-test panels, the burger was added to college campus menus with tremendous feedback. Burger consumption increased four percent with the new blended burger, while the campuses overall beef consumption decreased by 30 percent. Students also acknowledged the beef has a similar or better taste than the all-beef burger.

"Our blended burger shows what can happen when you combine a passion for great tasting food with the mission to promote local and sustainable farming practices," said Chef Matthew Thompson, Chief Culinary Officer for Harvest Table Culinary Group. "The positive feedback we've received from students combined with the environmental benefits from our blended burger show that plant-forward foods are here to stay. We look forward to expanding our plant-forward menu options to include Bolognese sauce, meatloaf, tacos and more."

According to Arlin Wasserman of Changing Tastes, "The results were exceptional. The strategy we developed to create a plant-forward, grass-fed burger is a model that other college and university foodservice programs can easily replicate. By adopting the same model, other foodservice operations can successfully deliver greater environmental impact, improved animal welfare and local economic benefits. We've also created delicious food that student diners preferred all without significant change to operations or costs."

For more information about the grass-fed and blended burger project, please see the link for a detailed white paper:

About Harvest Table Culinary Group

Built on a philosophy of "food first"— Harvest Table Culinary Group delivers a local, customized approach to campus dining and focuses on unique and authentic food experiences.  Our team of culinary experts is dedicated to bringing progressive food concepts and venues to life by connecting with local communities and culture. Learn more by visiting

About Changing Tastes

Changing Tastes is a values-driven consultancy firm that provides business strategy and culinary consulting to Fortune 500 companies, growth stage restaurant and hospitality firms, investors, and the philanthropic sector. Through its work, the firm has created more than $2B in value for its clients while catalyzing some of the most significant changes in the US food industry including reaccelerating growth in the natural and organic food industry by developing a new marketing strategy focused on personal health benefits, helping the leading US restaurant companies address antibiotic use in livestock production, and pioneering the now popular plant-forward dining strategy. For more information visit:

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SOURCE Harvest Table Culinary Group

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