Chef Talk with Chef Nora: Comfort Foods, Teas & More

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On Wednesday afternoon, the film crew enters Sysco Central Florida’s lobby, checks in and wait for Chef Nora Galdiano to emerge from a day filled of Business Reviews. She bursts through the doors, crosses the lobby briskly and greets the team. She pauses, then lets one of our team members have a second chance at a hand shake. From the get go, Chef’s energy exudes from her with every step and comment. The team setups, the dips start rolling out and the clean up is efficient and fast. We settle into the secondary review kitchen, grab some tea and dive into comfort foods.


MD: With the fall season rolling in, many consumers are ready for their favorite comfort foods. What would you say is a popular comfort food in Florida?

NG: Floridian cuisine, you know, we have a lot of fresh seafood. We are surrounded by seafood from snapper, grouper, mahi-mahi and there are so many more! The soft shell crabs and stone crabs – although they have a higher price point – people splurge and take comfort in enjoying dishes with their favorite seafood.

MD: What trends should we be on the look out for this holiday season?

NG: People are constantly watching their health from their fitness to what they are eating. So while you have the traditional prime rib, ham and leg of lamb, I think a lot more people will be focusing on eating in moderation and incorporating gluten free and low carb with ingredients like quinoa and other similar ancient grains into their holiday meals.

MD: Staying on your comment of incorporating gluten free, low carb, etc. how is the plant-based protein trend impacting your area?

NG: First off, I love it! I am showing more and more plant based items in Business Reviews everyday. I love the Beyond Burger and now, I just started showing the plant-based sausage.

As someone who was told they are pre-diabetic a few years ago, I had to shift to more plant-based meals, so I definitely appreciate a larger variety of options.

MD: Earlier today, you were discussing balancing fitness and health while on the job. With a nod to your tea remedies, do you have any tips to share?

NG: As someone who is constantly engaging in conversations with customers, it is important to stay healthy and ahead of common colds. Currently, I’m drinking my ginger tea to keep a scratchy throat from turning up. Part of my routine that I have developed is right when I come in I have green tea with lemon – it helps detox my body. I also drink green tea everyday and hot tea before bed. Obviously, I am big on tea as my tip! Tea for me is year round, but I love when restaurants and beverage shops put out a LTO with a fun new tea flavor. If you are looking for some inspiration on LTOs, Sysco Foodie Holiday editions always have some fun beverage options.

MD: Last question, what tip do you have for restaurants on social media?

NG: Social Media has had a huge impact on the restaurant industry. My tips would be: 1) you have to have a presence, plus it’s free so why wouldn’t you? 2) Engage! On Instagram, you are eating and drooling with your eyes leaving consumers with high expectations. Consumers will comment on your post – positive or negative. Stay in tune with your followers.



For Chef Nora’s recipe videos go tot Sysco Foodie USA YouTube channel.


Chef Talk with Chef Nora: Comfort Foods, Teas & More

By Meghan Doherty

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