Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Culture shock for cafeteria ladies

The chalk line between restaurants and gourmet food shops will be further smudged this winter with the opening of a new concept called Kidfresh. Like a Balducci’s or the grab-and-go sections of a Whole Foods, the New York City prototype will offer upscale fare. But like a restaurant, everything will be ready to eat. And unlike both types of food outlets, this one will exclusively stock ingestibles for kids.

The tykes can yank in Mom or Dad for a ready-for-school lunch, a packaged breakfast for the next morning, a snack for right then, or a dinner they can munch while the parental units slurp their spaghetti Bolognese.

Promotional materials say the meals will be healthy, with at least some prepared with natural, organic or additive-free ingredients. The announcement notes that items will be freshly made, though it wasn’t clear if that translates into “made daily” or “prepared to order.”

Restaurant veterans are apparently not among the founders, but Kidfresh said its launch team would include an award-winning chef, who was not identified.

Menu choices will include Star Shaped Pancakes with homemade chocolate dip; Honey Teriyaki Chicken Tenders with rice and edamame; and “pizza bites.”

Pointedly named as members of the start-up group were two marketing veterans, Dannon alumnus Gilles Deloux and Ralph Lauren Childrenswear veteran Samira Samii Mahboubian. They join the father who came up with the idea for Kidfresh, former management consultant Mathias Cohen.

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