Aramark’s Beyond the Plate Series Dr. Jessica B. Harris Guides First Session

Aramark, the largest U.S.-based food service company, is rolling out a new educational initiative called “Beyond the Plate” aimed at providing ongoing cultural insights and culinary knowledge to its workforce. This series will explore the significance of various cultural celebrations and their related foods. The inaugural session of “Beyond the Plate” features Dr. Jessica B. Harris, a renowned culinary historian and author of “High on the Hog,” who will delve into the importance of foods associated with African American communities, aligning with February’s Black History Month. These insights will assist Aramark employees in better understanding and planning meals for the guests they serve.

Fenimore Fisher, Aramark’s Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, recently conducted an interview with Dr. Harris, discussing the historical significance of African continent foods and their influence on American cuisine. This conversation serves as the foundation for the “Beyond the Plate” series and will be accessible to all Aramark management, fostering a deeper understanding of the foods served.

Dr. Harris, a leading authority on the food of the African Diaspora, is a bestselling author and has written extensively on the subject. Her expertise has contributed to various culinary endeavors internationally, including collaborating with institutions like the Culinary Institute of America and the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture.

Reflecting on the importance of historical context, Fisher expressed gratitude for Dr. Harris’s insights and emphasized the value of education and awareness in serving guests effectively. Dr. Harris will further engage with Aramark employees as the keynote speaker at the LEAD (Leaders and Employees of African Descent) Summit in February, where she will address attendees and participate in a question-and-answer session.

Aramark’s commitment to education and inclusion extends beyond “Beyond the Plate.” The company’s “Chef Spotlight” initiative celebrates culinary diversity within the organization, highlighting chefs who honor tradition through their recipes. Additionally, Aramark has prioritized inclusive leadership, service, and recruitment practices, earning recognition from organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign and Black Enterprise.

Fisher emphasized that while external recognition is appreciated, Aramark’s focus remains on empowering its workforce and fostering community engagement through initiatives like “Beyond the Plate.” This commitment aligns with the company’s broader “Be Well. Do Well.” strategy, emphasizing its dedication to people, planet, and community.

Source link