This past weekend, thousands of buyers from high end restaurants, multi-unit operations and foodservice establishments from throughout New York and the surrounding states networked and conducted business during the 21st annual International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York. The three-day trade show and conference which was held March 2-4, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center is owned by Urban Expositions and sponsored by the New York State Restaurant Association, who launched their new tagline “Helping Restaurateurs Succeed.”
“This is the industry’s annual homecoming where restaurant and foodservice professionals gather to network, conduct business, see new products, and gather the latest information on industry trends and this year we offered them a stellar environment to do just that,” said Ron Mathews, Industry Vice President for Urban Expositions’ Foodservice Events. “In the Expo hall and conference program we offered the Food Trends Experience, the Pride of New York/Taste NY Marketplace, the Umami Recipe Contest and the Farm to City Expo as well as several top notch culinary cooking demonstrations.”
Highlights of the event, included:
- The Winners of the People’s Choice Awards for the Innovative New Product Gallery and the Best New Product for the Food Trends Experience were announced. Thousands of attendees voted for their favorite products. The Best in Show was awarded to Bon Chef for their stainless steel hammered serving piecesand their 3 wall cold wave miracle bowls. The 2nd Place Runner Up was Edibles by Jack for their Edible Asian Spoons; and the 3rd place winner was Verterra for their Stylish, Sustainable, Compostable Dinnerware. Best New Product for the Food Trends Experience was Mr. Bey Lava Cake for their Chocolat Petit Gateau Gourmet Molten Cake.
- The Culinary Demonstration Theater included terrific presentations by Chef Anton Testino from the Food Network’s Chopped; Star Chefs Barbie Marshall and Danielle Rimmer from Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen; Chef Oscar Martinez from Havana Central; Chef Marco Chirico from Marco Polo and Certified Master Chef Fritz Sonnenschmidt.
The Japanese Restaurant Organizations’ Umami Pavilion. Three finalists of creative umami recipes were invited to bring their pots and pans to compete on-stage for an all-expense paid culinary trip to Japan. The showdown was judged by top chefs, including Chef George Mendes, the Executive Chef of Aldea. This year’s finalists were Aaron Bludorn, Executive Sous Chef of Cafe Boulud, Arnold Marcella, Chef de Cuisine of The Elm, and Jacob Clark, Sous Chef of Tocqueville. The winner of the Recipe Contest was Arnold Marcella, Chef de Cuisine of The Elm.
- The Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum attracted over 2,000 attendees to the various conference sessions. Some of the most popular sessions were the Foodservice Council for Women – Women Winning in Business; Why Meatless Monday is Good for the Health of Your Business; Restaurant Trends: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow; and A Chef’s Challenge – Questions and Answers with Marc Murphy.
- The 2014 Pride of New York/Taste NY Marketplace. On the show floor, over 40+ local, New York food and beverage companies showcased locally grown products from farmers and food processors in the Pride of New York/ Taste NY Marketplace. Governor Cuomo was quoted as saying, “New York State makes some of the best food and beverages in the world and now they will be on display at one of the largest food shows in the country. The Taste NY initiative has encouraged more and more New Yorkers and tourists alike to try our state’s home grown products. New York’s participation in this show will build on those efforts and help us continue to grow our state’s thriving agricultural industry.”
- The New York State Restaurant Association, sponsors of the trade show,provided insights on a variety of hospitality-related topics on legislative issues on letter grading, paid sick leave, affordable health care as well as on hot trends on gluten/allergen free, local sourcing, vegetarianism, fast casual dining and business operations. The NYS Restaurant Association’s mission is to promote the hospitality profession, while serving and representing its members and their customers through advocacy, innovation and education.
- During The Ultimate Barista Challenge Ultimate Barista James Duncan from Greenway Coffee & Tea in Houston, TX was named the Best of Brew Champion; and Ultimate Barista Danny Shannon from True Blue Single Estate Jamaica Coffee in Montauk, NY was named Latte Art Champion, Frappe Challenge Champion and the Ultimate Barista New York.
- Paris Gourmet announced Yoshikazu Kizu from the Ritz Carlton in Orlando, FL the winner of the coveted title of Pastry Chef of the Year for his highly technical chocolate and sugar sculpted Film Animation themed showpiece based on Beauty and the Beast. Chef Kizu won a silver plaque, gold medal certificate and a $4,000 grand prize. 2nd Place Winner was Kivanc Kaymak, FontaineBleu – Miami, FL. Chef Kaymark won $2500 and a silver medal. 3rd Place Winner wasPedro Gomez, Calihan Catering – Chicago, IL. Chef Gomez won $1,000 and a bronze medal. The Honorable Mention Award Winner was Arlety Estevez, L’Auberge Casino & Hotel – Baton Rouge, LA. Chef Estevez won $750 and a trophy.
- One of the hottest areas on the show floor was the Food Trends Experience where 75 new companies provided samples of the fabulous new foods that will inspire new fresh menu ideas for thousands of New York City Restaurants. Some of the more noteworthy products were Mr. Bey’s Lava Cake, The Original Pizza Logs, Luna & Larry’s Organic Bill Ice Cream, Edible Asian Spoons by Edible Jack, The Original Jersey Italian Gravy and UpFront Foods Straight Up Granola.
As a charitable donation at closing, the exhibitors of the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York contributed over 11,000 pounds of food to City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women, and children for more than 25 years.
About The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York
The 2015 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York will be held Sunday, March 1 – Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York. The show is produced and managed by Urban Expositions, and sponsored by the New York State Restaurant Association. Urban Expositions produces several other foodservice events including the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo to be held Sunday, August 17 through Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at the Anaheim Convention Center and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show scheduled for Sunday, September 7 – Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. For more information on exhibiting or attending future events visit the official Show web-site at www.thefoodshows.com.