Food Trends for Salads, Fruits Salads

Joined May 3, 2015
I have several questions and wanted some suggestions and advice on current food trends for salads especially that are coming from 3 categories. Fruits, Vegetarians or Grain or Pasta.
I currently work for a fine dining catering company serving a big client in California, an auto industry car manufacturer. Nowadays, I see a lot of salads that are healthy, nutritious and recipes coming from different countries and cuisines like Korean, Asia, Thai, American casual, etcetera.
1. I am beginning to understand how this works since I weigh a lot of vegetables, fruits, and other food items that I use for every item we use for the salad bar. Then preparing them and serving them cold in the salad bar.
2. What are the current food trends of 2018 on salads?
3. If I were to serve more than 1000 employees of salads, what would be the yield or the portion size for each side salad portion? Every Monday to Thursday, I feed 400 employees and refill them 2 - 3 times during a 3-hour lunch service. On Friday, it is much slower because of half of the workforce work from home. It is a self-service salad bar.
4. What are common cooking methods you use when dealing with roasting, baking and steaming vegetables especially with squash (butternut, delicata, acorn, etcetera), potatoes, parsnips, etcetera? At work, there are 6 Hobart Convection ovens at work. I also have 2 pressure steamers, gas stovetop, grill, flat iron and 2 deep fryers.
5. Any guidelines on making composed salads in 3 categories: Fruit, Vegetarian and Grain/ Pasta? How about mixing different textures and complementary flavors?
6. How do you make bacon bits? From cooking to making bacon bits?
7. When making fruit composed salads, am I getting too far going for a cold fruit dessert? I was thinking of making a deconstructed cannoli with a vanilla pastry cream on the bottom, with 3 berries lined up on top (blueberries, raspberries & strawberries), then you have some deep fried cannoli strips on the side topped with toasted pistachios. Is this going way too overboard at a salad bar?
8. Here's another, remember Clifton's Cafeteria in LA where they have this Jell-O Whipped Cream salad, is this considered as a fruit dessert?
9. I have learned using the RoboCoupe saved me so much time preparing some of my vegetables like making julienne, grating cheese, slicing vegetables very thinly, and other cuts. This is a time saver which can last for 1- to 15 minutes. Time and organization are keys making an organized workplace and station. I am learning more every day as I become a better chef and pantry cook in the salad bar. I am really new to this and wanted to excel at what I do here. Any professional advice, help, and suggestions are much appreciated.
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