Whole grains and their potential in food service will be the focus of the Whole Grains Council’s conference later this year. Whole Grains Away From Home will be held Sept. 25-27 in Chicago and will feature a lineup of speakers who will describe how whole grains may attract diners while benefiting the bottom line.

The event will include presentations from:

• Chef Ann Cooper, who will describe how whole grain success in schools may be carried over to restaurants.

• Stephen Jones of The Bread Lab, who will explain how new breeding efforts are rediscovering the taste of wheat — and bringing it to mainstream restaurants.

• Mark DiDomenico of Datassential, who will share data on whole grain menu trends.

• Jennifer Robinson of Compass and Lisa Feldman of Sodexo, who will describe how major contract feeders choose the whole grains they’ll carry, and how they’re introducing millions of diners daily to new whole grain tastes.

The conference also will include presentations from distributors and chain restaurants that depict innovative ways they’re supporting the addition of whole grains at all stages of the supply chain. Additionally, corporate chefs will demo their favorite whole grain dishes, while explaining how leading manufacturers support food service operators in the development of custom menu items. The program will conclude with a culinary trendologist's forecast of tomorrow's whole grains, and a panel presentation on educating the next generation of chefs to see whole grains as the new norm.

“Our goal is to shine a spotlight on some of the amazing whole grain innovations already happening in food service, so that other food service operators can learn how to find whole grain success,” says Kelly Toups, program director for the W.G.C. “This revolution is happening, and smart restaurants will jump on the bandwagon sooner rather than later.”