Cooking up History with Chef Dayanny: Behind the Scenes
By: Cherylee Cruz
<cell phone rings>
“Hey Cherylee, it’s chef! Do you think I can use your kitchen to cook for the Smithsonian? I’ve just been asked to cook and plate some historical dishes!”
This is the call I received from Chef Dayanny De La Cruz on June 10th, 2021.
You may have been living under a rock, then allow me to introduce her:
Chef Dayayanny De La Cruz is the Executive Chef of the Miami Dolphins at the HardRock Stadium in Miami, Florida. She is the first female chef to lead the culinary program at a superbowl, SuperBowl LIV. A much-celebrated accomplishment for a female chef to lead a team for the biggest football event of the year. (Let me not forget to add that the Queen Bee herself, Beyonce, was impressed by Chef Dayanny’s talent.)
As Foodservice Strategic Development Director for FOH, I have worked with Chef Dayanny, along with the Levy and Centerplate Corporations, for several years and am elated at how our professional relationship has grown into a tremendous friendship and partnership.
So, in receiving a call like this - I knew it meant something big (as if she does anything less) and was excited to learn more as soon as possible. We met the following week to discuss details and that’s where the experience began.
It’s hard to capture all the thoughts and feelings around a historic event because everything that Chef Dayanny de la Cruz does becomes historical, but I’m going to try.
First things first, I think I speak for everyone when I say having the Smithsonian Institute reach out to you is next level. They requested Chef Dayanny as a result of having followed her career in the food and sports entertainment industry throughout the years. Not only did they want her cooking but personally sought after her recipes that organically tied their exhibit, ¡Pleibol! and Eat Well! Latino Culinary Traditions and Américas’ Game”, to explore the close connection between American baseball and Latin culinary traditions that have been infused and shaped into a sport beloved by both Americans and Latinos alike. From elotes, Baja fish tacos, to Cubanos, the Latin influence amongst the dishes being served in baseball stadiums across the country is only growing.
Next, being asked to be a part of this remarkable exhibit, was a no brainer. To me, the answer was obvious. It was the perfect opportunity for the chef and FOH® to bring to life their partnership in honor of the Smithsonian. FOH® being Miami-born and women-owned, Chef is incredibly mindful to always involve us and our products as she continues to cook up history... literally. What an honor it was to witness all the beautiful dishes she created and listen to her explanation of each one. She puts so much heart and so much of herself into each of her dishes, they are inevitably delicious. All coming together the moment I took a bite into the incredibly tasty “Platano Power” Cubano sandwich[CC1] . (My mouth is watering now just thinking about it). Recipe included (you’re welcome!).
Lastly, in addition to her delicious recipes, the vision of how each menu item was to be plated was impressive. Her knowledge of each FOH® product is simply beautiful to witness. She knows the exact FOH® vessel to use for each and every serving, elevating the visual food experience even more for all virtual attendees. Her confidence was mesmerizing and her execution was impeccable. Those of us that were lucky enough to experience this mastermind in person at FOH’® Big Eats kitchen stood as astonished and as hungry as we could ever be. Even when technical difficulties occurred, she did not skip a beat and continued to charm the audience with her “TV magic” and sheer candidness.
Ultimately, it was an incredible experience and I was honored to be a part of it.
Get her recipes here: https://bit.ly/3t0rM2v.
Check out the behind the scenes and keep your eyes peeled for the National Museum of American History’s new exhibition ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las grandes ligas. Starting Summer 2021.
Read more about the Pleibol and Eat Well!: Latino Culinary Traditions and Américas’ Game Presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
Chef Molly Demers Top 5 Front of the House® Picks
If there’s anyone who knows all about ‘In Season’ solutions it’s Chef MollyD, the Executive Chef of Climate Pledge Arena, in Seattle, Washington. She covers all things catering, from sports to live music and entertainment events for the masses. So, we caught up with Chef Molly and asked what her go-to Front of the House® favorites are for a true presentation score.
Here are her picks:
1. 9.25" Round Artefact® Low Bowl - organic in its look and feel this bowl makes every dish stand out
2. 11" Oval Kiln® Leek Plate - perfect for passing h'dourves in a large setting
3. 11" Round Kiln® Sage Plate - it’s as aesthetic as it is functional making it the perfect essential
4. 5.5" Square Kiln ® Ovenware Dish with Lid - easily transferable from oven to buffet serving
5. 34" X 7" ROOT® Server - the WOW factor centerpiece everyone needs
(all pictures attached)
What are yours? Comment below, we want to know!
Exclusive Feature: Our very own founders, Simone Mayer & Mayda Perez, along with Cherylee Cruz, Foodservice Strategic Development Director, (virtually) sat down with Chef Molly on #WomensEqualityDay to talk about gender equality and its massive impact during the past, and present and future. This conversation is one you don’t want to miss. Check out the interview and get inspired here -->
By National LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Established in 2002, FOH®, a global, award-winning hospitality and foodservice brand that includes; Front of the House®, room360˚ by FOH®, and FOH Health Essentials™ has been officially Certified as LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE®) By National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Front of the House® is a respected designer and manufacturer of trend-forward commercial-grade dinnerware and serving solutions worldwide for the restaurant and hospitality industries. room360° by FOH®, is a premier designer and manufacturer of innovative in-room accessories for the finest hotels, spas, and design firms worldwide. FOH® Health Essentials™ offers a wide range of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s), including disposable and reusable masks, gowns, thermometers, gloves, and much more.
A women-owned business that has continued to be recognized as a Certified Great Place to Work® since 2016 is pleased to add a new designation as a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise®. FOH® proudly received the outstanding certification from the National Third-Party Certifying Body NGLCC: National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, on June 23rd, 2021.
In their public award granting ceremony, NGLCC’s Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson stated: “We are so, pleased to welcome FOH® to the ever-expanding network of NGLCC certified LGBT Business Enterprise", while NGLCC's Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell added “According to NGLCC’s groundbreaking America’s LGBT Economy report, America’s estimated 1.4 million LGBT business owners, many of them NGLCC certified, add over $1.7 trillion to the GDP and create tens of thousands of new jobs. We are proud to count FOH® among those who prove every day that LGBT businesses are the future of the American economy”.
FOH® brands are now eligible to participate in the NGLCC’s corporate partners’ supplier diversity programs. This certification reinforces the work they do to foster business-to-business relationships with other LGBTBEs worldwide and in the International Business & Leadership Conference.
“Our diversity has long been our secret to success. We are so proud to now have two of the most prestigious certifications in recognition of that: WBENC and NGLCC.” stated Simone Mayer, FOH®’s
Happy PRIDE month! All June long, millions of people come together to celebrate and support the LGBTQIA+ community. This year marks the 51st celebration.
The acronym, originally LGB, is an evolving abbreviation that began in the mid to late 1980s and since then has grown and evolved over the years to be more inclusive and respective to understand, define, identify, and express people's lived gender and experiences.
Today’s fully expanded 12-character version in use is LGBTQQIP2SAA, which represents and recognizes 11 groups in our community: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit (2S), asexual, and ally.
LGB, refers to sexual identity: Lesbian, Gay and Bi-Sexual.
T, stands for Transgender, a person whose gender identity is different from the sex on their birth certificate.
Q, stands for Queer. Anyone who is non-cisgender and/or non-heterosexual.
The second Q stands for Questioning, a person still exploring their sexuality.
I, stands for Intersex, a person born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that is not typical of female or male.
P, stands for Pansexual, someone whose physical, emotional, or romantic attraction is not based on gender, sex, or identity.
2SS, stand for two-spirited people, where birth-assigned women or men take on the role of the opposite sex.
A, stands for Asexual. Anyone who is not attracted to any gender.
And the last A, for Ally.
Furthermore, the Pride flag has also evolved since its first design in 1978, created by Gilbert Baker, a California artist, and gay rights activist. The ubiquitous Rainbow flag “…was a conscious choice, natural and necessary,” Gilbert said. “The Rainbow came from earliest recorded history as a symbol of hope.”
With the different groups, genders, and identities outlined above, each has come up with its flag over the years and although they may look different, each symbolizes a safe space.
We choose to show our pride with the updated flag, formally known as the Progress flag, using the adopted Philadelphia Pride flag colors, redesigned in 2018 by Daniel Quasar, a Portland-based designer, artist, and gamer. Daniel, who identifies as xe (a gender-neutral pronoun), conceived xis version late June 2018 on a Kickstarter campaign to emphasize “what is important in our current community climate”, and includes the Black, Brown, and Tran-pride stripes. The flag went viral in series of posts following the death of George Floyd in 2020.
The added colors to the traditional flag highlight those groups who started the movement, that today we call PRIDE. A tribute to Marsha P. Johnson and Silvia Rivera, the Trans people of color and activists who were instrumental in the 1969 Stonewall Riots.
These transformations exist from the resilience and to share one’s true self in all its uniqueness; in being heard; in greater unity; in celebrating all types of love.
FOH® is PROUD beyond the rainbow.
Working closely with some of our most cherished relationships, we have been able to complete 500+ volunteer hours and donate over $25,000 in support of our local LGBTQ+ community.
We stand with the leaders that inspire the continued fight for equality and justice.
Get involved! PRIDE is more accessible than ever. If you would like to get involved in any festivities, please find a calendar of events for your area here.
To donate directly to our partners, click here for Pridelines and here for EqualityFL.
As cities across the globe are beginning to resume business in a now post-COVID world, one major question is still lingering at the forefront of every reopening conversation is “how we are going to continue to keep our customers, staff, and office spaces clean and virus-free”.
There are many companies offering “quick fixes” to cleaning and disinfecting workplaces, however FOH® Health Essentials, has created the Essentials M.I.S.T. Fogger to help companies safely and easily disinfect their office spaces in a short period of time without having to outsource the job.
Here are just a of the few features that make the Essentials M.I.S.T. Fogger the best disinfecting fogger on the market…
Knowing which sanitation and disinfectant fogger to use is extremely important in the overall health management of your team and customers. Choosing the right product can be the difference between a shut down workspace or a smooth running operation.
Our FOH® family has always been focused on making sure we implement the best environmentally conscious practices when it comes to our day-to-day culture. From our innovative, award-winning eco-friendly product collections to our in-office commitment to using more sustainable products; one example, eliminating the use of plastic cups and stirrers and replacing them with reusable Drinkwise® cups and bamboo stirrers, we have dedicated ourselves to ensuring that we contribute to the overall longevity of our environment’s health.
Contributing to the sustainability of the environment is the heartbeat of Front of the House®’s corporate culture. Since inception, we have remained committed to sustainability by practicing environmental awareness, social responsibility, working closely with our Miami-based in-house Design & Development Team to continuously introduce innovative, eco-friendly product options that improve our existing product lines by minimizing our carbon footprint and our overall environmental impact. Our commitment extends to our energy-efficient workspaces as well, outfitted with LED motion sensor lighting, Nest programmable thermostats, and energy-saving appliances.
Currently, we have 10 sustainable product collections that include Servewise, Paper Straws, Platewise®, Drinkwise®, Crushed Bamboo, Palm Wood, Rubberwood, Nami™ Bamboo, ROOT®, and Rustic Wood.
March is dedicated to women’s history month. A national recognition since 1982 to properly honor our trailblazers.
Fast forward 20 years, FOH®, a minority, Women-Owned Business, was founded and led by CEO, Simone Mayer, and Exec. VP. Mayda Perez, disruptors in the food & beverage and hospitality industries with their design perspective. FOH® is also certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council since 2013.
Diversity in our industries is a hot topic and has been across the country for many years and to help create a space to amplify the impact and opportunities of a more inclusive culture, we hare #WOWWomen, highlighting the talented leading females running and paving the way for the future.
WOW, what a fantastic time to celebrate!
Get to know some of the women owned firms blazing trails in the industry.
Simeone Deary – Chicago. Lisa Simeone founded Simeone Deary Design Group with Gina Deary in 2002, stepping outside traditional bounds to build an interior design firm that would prioritize the creative process and inspire collaboration with clients.
Sheedy DeLaRosa – Chicago. Guided by the combined, award-winning expertise of principles Natalie Sheedy and Marcie DeLaRosa, Sheedy/Delarosa Interiors delivers big-firm results via a personal and flexible boutique approach.
Parker Torres – Massachusetts. Formed in 2004 by Barbara Parker and Miriam Torres, their company of 25+ professionals specialize in hospitality design. Each partner has more than thirty years of experience in this sphere, and both women draw upon their individual strengths to provide unique perspectives for every project.
Kay Lang – Los Angeles. Kay Lang has specialized in the field of four and five-star hospitality and high-end residential design for over 30 years. Her projects span the globe from boutique hotels and destination resorts, to full-service properties, including large scale mixed-use projects.
Tara Bernerd – London. Bernerd, an inveterate traveler, is constantly seeking and designing what she calls “homes-away-from-home.” Witness them in hospitality projects her 25-person firm, Tara Bernerd & Partners, has done for such clients as Thompson Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels, and Starwood Capital.
Egg Collective –New York. established in 2011 by Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis, and Hillary Petrie. Before Egg Collective was a company, it was an idea. Conceived of as a creative partnership synthesizing its founder’s backgrounds in art, architecture, and woodworking, this notion evolved into an ethos: Materials are sacred and are imbued with infinite potential.
Sara Kuchar – Chicago. After working at Perkins + Will for 11 years, Sarah Kucharbranched out on her own in 2016. Kuchar's motto is “no rules”—no market sector, site, material, or product is off limits for her eponymous firm, which employs five women.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic back in March, many local organizations and businesses have stepped up to answer the call for help from their local community members.
One such organization, Kids In Distress (KIDs), a South Florida based organization dedicated to preventing childhood abuse, preserving families, and treating children who have been abused and neglected, has been hosting food distributions since March that provide over 500 families with groceries weekly. They also have been financially assisting South Florida families whose households have been affected by loss of employment or furlough.
Recently FOH®, Inc learned that KIDs was experiencing a shortage in disposable masks, amongst other items, needed for the families that they serve across the tri-county area with their in-home and foster services. So, they stepped up and donated over 75,000 disposable masks over a 3-month time span to their Broward County facility.
Interested in seeing how you can donate to Kids in Distress, click here for more information.
As COVID-19 cases across the country are rising, FOH®, Inc continues on their steadfast mission of supporting and providing relief to South Florida communities that need it.
On October 18, 2020, FOH®, Inc donated over 20,000 3-ply disposable masks to the Lotus House Women’s Shelter in the community of Overtown, in an effort to protect their 500 residents and 150 staff members against the spread of this virus.
The Lotus House, a shelter that houses disadvantage and homeless women and children and provides them with the sanctuary, support, education, and resources needed for them to heal and grow, put out a call for help through their COVID-19 Relief Fund and FOH®, Inc answered.
“We’re committed to affecting meaningful and lasting change for causes we believe in and the livelihoods of those most in need. We are extremely grateful that even during these unprecedented times, we are able to provide to support to our neighbors,” says CEO Simone Mayer.
If you or your organization would like to find out how you can help keep the residents and staff of the Lotus House safe, The Lotus House.
Many South Florida families have unexpectedly experienced a change in their household income. So, in an effort to assist in providing some financial relief to these families during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, FOH® has teamed up with Quinton Dunbar of the Seattle Seahawks and a few local South Florida businesses todistribute turkeys, produce boxes, and disposable masks boxes to over 800 South Florida families while also providing hot meals to local
“This event is definitely one close to my heart,” says Event Coordinator, Johnny “Jay Five” Harris. “I see day in and day out how this pandemic has affected my brothers and sisters in my community. Just a few months ago many families were living comfortably and working hard to save for luxury items, and now those same families are working hard just keep a roof over their head and food in their stomachs. Also, with the new legal limitations that the virus has put over us, some homeless feeding programs have been shut down or put on pause for the time being, making it harder for the homeless to receive hot meals daily. So, I felt it was my duty to call up some of my peers to put this idea into motion.”
Other community partners include:
- 103.5 The Beat iHeart Radio
- Helping Florida
- Florida Film House
- Demesmin & Dover Law Firm
- Girl Makes Beats
- Optimist Club of Overtown
- City of Miami’s Park & Recreation
- City of Miami’s Police Department
- Miami-Dade County Corrections Department
- City of Miami Human Services