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September Meeting Recap: Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Allianz Field

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FCS Professionals kicked off the 2019-20 “season” with a behind-the-scenes food service tour of the brand new Allianz Field.  Allianz Field is the new home of the Minnesota United Soccer team.  The entire stadium is breath-takingly beautiful with an overall theme of the rippling waters of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes.

Our program began with a welcome to our guests and new members.  A new feature of our meetings will be a time to announce job openings and members searching for a new position can give a brief description of the type of work they desire.  This will allow for members to better connect with one another on the job front!  This year we are celebrating our 95th birthday all year long with special treats and surprises.  For our first meeting, there was a drawing to win a beautiful fall plant.

The tour kicked off in the Brew Hall–home of 96 taps!  The Brew Hall is used on game days but it is also a popular spot for Minnesota United fans to gather for free watch parties during away games and is also used for private events.  Allianz Field is served by hospitality management company Delaware North.  Delaware North also runs the food service operations at Target Field, Target Center, and MSP airport.  Bill, the Executive Chef, started his career as a personal chef to the Pohlad family and worked his way up through various positions at Target Field.  He was very excited to jump to the new Allianz Field as the soccer season is much shorter than baseball!  Eric, the General Manager, started his career in the hospitality industry in Wisconsin working for Miller Park and Lambeau Field before moving to the Minneapolis area.

The food service operation consists of one main kitchen plus several smaller “pantries” to serve suites.  The concession stands contain cooking equipment to prepare those food items.  The concession stands are staffed mostly by non-profit groups who receive funds for their organizations by working at the games.  On game days, to prepare for a 7 p.m. game, the ovens are fired up around 9:00 a.m. and the sous chef arrives around 10:00 a.m.  The rest of the crew arrives between 12-2 p.m.  The food being prepared serves the various suites.  Special game tickets are required to visit the suites.  The tickets are considered “all-inclusive” for food and soft drinks but not alcohol.

The Field Suite is home to a special guest-chef program.  Local chefs prepare a special food items for each game.  Chefs that have participated this year include Justin Sutherland of The Handsome Hog, Tim McKee of Octo Fishbar, Alicia Hinze of The Buttered Tin, and many more!  Along with the guest chef program, there are several different food stations with traditional field fare along with other delicious bites! Chef Bill mentioned that soccer fans tend to stay in their seats so their busiest times are the hour before the game begins and half time.  This was a different experience vs. his time at Target Field where people are constantly milling around.

Another differentiating feature of the food service operation at Allianz Field is their beer program.  Most stadiums sign a big contract with Miller-Coors or Anheuser-Busch.  They wanted to do things differently so they signed several smaller contracts with many craft breweries.  This allows them to serve a variety of local craft beers and give many options to patrons.  They also designed their partnership with local food businesses differently.  Typically, if a local restaurant has a presence at a stadium, the restaurant gives their recipe to the food service operation of the stadium, and their workers prepare and serve the food.  At Allianz Field, the local restaurant prepares their own food.  This has helped to provide consistent quality and the restaurant remains more in control.  Local restaurants with a presence at Allianz Field include Brasa, El Burrito Mercado, The Handsome Hog, Hot Indian, Afro Deli, and more!

On the day of our tour, the kitchen staff was busy preparing for the home game the next day so we were not able to visit the main kitchen but we did get to see several suites and the smaller “pantries”.  It was a fabulous tour and a huge thank you to Colleen Glenn and Gerry Luepke for organizing another wonderful program!

In the News: Tetra Pak Index 2019 The Convergence of Health & Environment

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Interested in the convergence of health and the environment?  The Tetrak Pak Index 2019 report is full of interesting information.  Adolfo Orive, President and CEO of Tetra Pak states, “Environment and health, the top two consumers concerns are now seeing an increasing overlap, with a direct correlation perceived between the two. Nearly three out of five consumers already think that their health and well-being are strongly affected by the environment. Our research shows that consumers believe they carry the responsibility for both their own health and the health of the planet. There is a growing belief that today’s lifestyles, particularly what we eat and drink, have a fundamental impact on both.”


The full report and info can be accessed by this link.

The Evolution of a Name

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The Evolution of a Name

Food and Consumer Science Professionals (FCS Professionals) is the name of our organization since 2015. The original name since 1926 was Twin Cities Home Economists in Business (TWIN CITIES HEIB). In 2014, Board members revisited the TWIN CITIES HEIB name and decided it seemed to still be representative of our organization. The words “Twin Cities” were dropped but the letters HEIB were maintained representing the following words: H=Home, E=Education, I=Industry and B=Business.

However, the conversation continued on into the next member year as it was recognized that the environment was changing dramatically and the words “Home Economist” no longer were being used in the education and corporate world. High schools and universities were using terms such as Family & Consumer Sciences (FACS) and Human Ecology; food companies switched to terms such as culinary centers and employee titles changing to product specialist, culinary expert, food editor, etc. Thus, another name change movement began in earnest.

After many meetings with member participation, the organization’s name was officially changed from HEIB to FCS Professionals at the start of the 2015 member year. Using the new name is allowing us to build on the legacy of the early organizers and continue to broaden the potential member base in an updated manner. Today we welcome members who study, work in or are retired from any discipline within the consumer science field. This includes careers in food and nutrition, dietetics, textiles, kitchen design and equipment, interior decorating, education, childcare, health care, consumer communication, consultants and more. If you are not yet a member, check us out. We are a vibrant, professional Minnesota metro group that provides numerous benefits including learning, networking, mentoring, fun, camaraderie and more! Join us today!


Serving the Masses: My Behind-the-Scenes Galley Tour

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To celebrate my in-law’s 50th wedding anniversary, sixteen Vances (8 adults and 8 kids!) boarded Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas for a 5 night adventure on the high seas with an overnight stop at the beautiful island of Bermuda.  We had a fabulous time trying delicious food, splashing in the pools, trying our hand at the iFly skydiving simulator, and enjoying the beautiful ocean.  For me, a highlight was on the last day of our cruise–a behind-the-scenes galley tour.  I have cruised multiple times and have always wanted to take a peek at the massive food service operation and now was my chance!  I know my fellow FCS Professionals love a good kitchen tour so I will do my best to recreate the magic through photos.

The first stop was the dishwashing area.  Chef Spence, our tour guide, explained to the group how careful they are to separate the dirty from the clean dishes.  Throughout the tour, food safety and sanitation was stressed.

It was 10:15 a.m. and workers were busy preparing cold food items like fruit and cheese plates for dinner.  Items were plated, covered, and refrigerated.  They do as much prep work as possible but items such as the Caesar Salad are plated on demand during the dinner service.

The main kitchen prep area was full of combi ovens.  Chef Spence explained to our group how valuable the combi ovens are for preparing the large quantities of food prepared and the flexibility in using steam, convection, or traditional oven.

Please forgive my reflection in the photo.  I tried very hard to stay out of it!  This screen monitors every piece of equipment in the kitchen.  If there is a malfunction it will show up on the monitor.  This makes it easier to catch problems right away and makes it much simpler for maintenance to fix any issues.

This is Chef Spence of Jamaica.  Here he is showing us the monitor that shows the forecasted amount of each type of entrée as well as the actual “sold”.  My husband and I joked that they were -10 in lobster tails because of our table the night before.  Several kids took multiple lobster tails instead of chicken fingers!

This is the pot washing area.  The silver trap door in the photo is where all the food waste goes.  It gets sucked through a tunnel to an incinerator on the ship.  Chef Spence also explained that all liquid waste gets treated onboard the ship. Once the liquid is treated, you could place a glass of tap water and this treated water side-by-side and not be able to tell which was the treated water.  When the ship is 10 miles from port, the treated water is put into the ocean.

These lamb shanks were prepped.  Later that night my husband ordered the lamb shank and I meant to take a photo of the plated version!

This was the soup and sauce prep zone.  When you are making soup for several thousand people it takes a lot of boxed wine!

The busiest part of the galley—-the bakery!  The bakery is staffed 24 hours a day to make enough breads, rolls, and desserts for the masses.  The fresh bread baking smelled amazing! Click on this link to watch a video of my favorite piece of food service equipment on the tour! You need this machine if you are going to bake 1,000 rolls at a time!



The finished product!  This gentleman was so sweet.  He did the demonstration again for us because we were so impressed.  At dinner I was showing the video to the kids and our waiter looked at my phone and said “Hey that is my friend!”  I told him he was the star of the tour!

Our last stop on the tour was the decorating area of the bakery.  This giant cake was 30 minutes away from being delivered to the buffet for the “farewell lunch”.  When my niece stopped by the cake table at the buffet she asked for a small piece.  The man said “We don’t do small pieces” and handed her a gigantic slice.  All of the other cousins were really impressed when she arrived at our table!  My son was so impressed that he made a plan of how he was going to say he wanted a “small” piece too.  I accompanied him to the cake table and Andrew, with a sparkle in his eye, said “I’d like a small piece please!” and the man put the tiniest crumb on his plate!  Andrew’s eyes got big and said, “Wellllll maybe a little bigger than that!” and proceeded to get a giant piece himself.

Overall it was a very fun and informative tour of the galley.  For this particular ship, the galley we toured only served the two main dining rooms (other than the bakery that provides baked goods for the entire ship).  There were several specialty restaurants on the ship and each of them had their own kitchen.  There is a hallway that runs the length of the ship that is hidden from guests that the staff jokingly refers to as “I-65”.  This is how they transport food throughout the ship without guests noticing (or bumping into the crowds!).  “I-65” also is the route for getting items from the food storage areas. There were a few times on the ship I wished I could take I-65 and avoid the crowds!

I will close with a few fun non-galley photos of our trip!


Ready to hit the pink sand “Horseshoe Beach”

All dressed up for formal night

One night Grandma and Grandpa had all the kids at their table so us parents could actually talk to each other! What a wonderful way to celebrate 50 years of marriage!

In the News: World Food Day, 5 Easy Ways to find Happiness at Work, and Getting Paid to Eat!

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  • The International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE) presents World Food Day on October 16, 2018.  They have published a press release here
  • Membership in FCS Professionals can help you with item numbers 2, 3 & 5 on the 5 Easy Ways to Find Happiness at Work list!
  • To some members this may be a dream job!  Professional food taster at luxury resorts?  Click here

Blog Feature: Marie Winker Shares her Experience with VEAP

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Thank you to Marie Winker for sharing her experiences with VEAP (Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People)

The VEAP Service Center in Bloomington is a service hub combining services from Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department as well as the VEAP Food Program under one roof for low income residents of Bloomington, Richfield, Edina and South Minneapolis.

The VEAP Food Program includes the largest food pantry in Minnesota where clients arriving by bus are able to arrange to get transportation home with their food.

The NEAT (Nutrition Education and Teaching) program supplements the Food Program by repurposing fresh food (by making banana bread to distribute in the pantry), provide samples (to introduce and teach clients how to use some less common food items) and conduct cooking classes.

I first heard of VEAP when a professional group I belong to was invited to a meeting of another group in winter 2014.  VEAP had recently moved into the building and the commercial/teaching kitchen was still under construction.  I had the distinct impression that I could see myself volunteering there.  Two years later, a group from my church worked in the warehouse and after that I finally pursued becoming a volunteer.

Volunteers are needed in all aspects of VEAP programs.  Thus far, I have volunteered in several ways. The first was with the church group in the warehouse where we sorted produce before putting in the pantry the foods that were still fresh enough to safely use or bagged potatoes, apples, carrots, onions or other donated produce that came in enormous boxes.

The program I work primarily in has been the NEAT cooking classes as a classroom assistant.  Extension provides the educator, there is a volunteer culinary instructor who demonstrates the techniques for each class session and then up to three classroom assistants who help the class run smoothly by doing tasks in the background, prepare the materials that the students take home (including a bag of groceries to prepare the featured recipe of that class session), help the students as needed while they prepare the recipe and help with the clean up.

Other programs include Summer Youth Food Program, Back to School Program, Birthday Bag Program, Holiday Toy Program and Transportation Program.  Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks in each of these programs including verifying the amount on donated gift cards for the Holiday Toy Program.

I have greatly enjoyed working with the NEAT program at VEAP and would encourage anyone looking for a place to volunteer to explore the possibilities that VEAP has.  They have opportunities for all ages including jobs both active and seated.  Further information about VEAP can be found at and the volunteer director is Shari DeBlieck(

Global Hand Washing Day October 15 Activities

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Global Hand Washing Day, October 15, is a good day to start a new habit of handwashing in your school or community. Here are 5 opportunities to get you started:

  1. Attend ACI’s 2016 Make Handwashing a Habit Anytime Webinar
  2. Download and share our Global Handwashing Day Activity Sheet
  3. Join CDC experts for a YouTube Live handwashing presentation on October 14 at 10:30 AM ET
  4. Complete a handwashing campaign or project and apply for the Healthy Schools, Healthy People, It’s a SNAP National Award
  5. Share this information with your colleagues so that they can also make handwashing a habit


More information on “Make Handwashing a Habit Anytime Webinar”

Cost: Free

Duration: 30 minutes

Speakers include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing, and the 2016 Healthy Schools, Healthy People National Award Recipient. In about 30 minutes, these experts will help make handwashing a habit by sharing educational resources and information.

In addition, cleaning products gift baskets will be given away to 5 lucky webinar registrants in a drawing held December 1!

Note: This is not a live webinar.  It has already been recorded and can be viewed at your leisure. Make sure you register before December 1 to be eligible for the prize drawing.

To view the webinar register here

Continuing Education: Winning Consumers in a Non-GMO Marketplace Webinar

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FCS Professionals members are invited to participate in a complimentary webinar sponsored by Ingredion on Monday, October 17 at 1:00 p.m.  The title of the program is “Winning Consumers in a Non-GMO Marketplace”.

From the website:  Now more than ever, consumers are paying attention to “non-GMO” claims on food and beverage labels. Be better prepared to make non-GMO supply decisions and gain the latest consumer insights to help you market your non-GMO products effectively. Join the experts for this content-rich webinar comprised of two short segments:


  • What consumers know, think and how they make decisions relative to GMOs today
  • Expert insights into non-GMO sourcing and supply chain implications

Webinar is free but you must register in advance here