Thousands of chefs, industry leaders, owners and operators from the restaurant and foodservice industry networked and conducted business with 450 exhibiting companies during the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo which was co-located with Healthy Food Expo West and Coffee Fest Los Angeles. The robust trade show and conference offered a collection of the best new foods and beverages, equipment and technology, awards presentations, education sessions, and cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs. The event is owned by Clarion UX and sponsored by the California Restaurant Association.
“Our exhibitors were happy and saw an increase in the number of qualified attendees walking the aisles and were pleased that many people came to buy new products, equipment and service for their restaurants and foodservice establishments,” said Tom Loughran, Vice President for the Clarion UX Food & Beverage Group.
Highlights of the event, included:
* The exhibit hall offered new products and innovations from 450+ exhibiting companies covering 90,000 square feet. There were many new exhibitors who participated. The Clarion UX staff arranged over 100 meetings for their MATCH! Program, and 300+ meetings for their Five Star Buyer Program between multi-unit restaurant and foodservice operators with participating exhibitors and suppliers.
* The Torch Award was presented to Los Angeles based Roy Choi, who oversees Kogi BBQ, Chego!, A-Frame, Alibi Room, LocoL, and his first restaurant outside California called Best Friend at Park MGM, Las Vegas for his outstanding knowledge and leadership, philanthropic and community efforts, extraordinary talent, creativity, innovation and inspiration.
* Kathleen Wood moderated the Foodservice Council for Women panel discussion with a dynamic group of women including Nyesha Arrington, Culinary Visionary; Vanda Asapahu, Ayara Thai; Holly Jivin, The Bazaar by Jose Andres at the SLS Beverly Hills; Antonia Lofaso, DMA, Scopa Italian Roots & Black Market Liquor Bars; and Madeline Alfano of Maria’s Italian Kitchen and the 2019 Beacon Award Recipient.*
* Several Innovative Product Awards were presented including:*
o The Best in Show Winner in the Featured Product Showcase Oumph! for their Plant Based Protein Chef Style www.oumph.us
o The 1st Place Runner Up was Planteers, Inc. for their Edible Cutlery & Vegan Meat. www.PLANETEERLLC.com
o The 2nd Place Runner Up was Zevia for their Zero Calorie Beverages – Soda, Energy Drinks, Mixers and Organic Tea. www.zevia.com
o Best In Show Winner: Food Trends Experience was Tannor’s Tea for their Liquid Matcha Concentrate. www.tannorstea.com
o Best in Show for Pitch the Press was Feve Chocolates, LLC for their Artisan Chocolate (https://fevechocolates.com).
* Coffee Fest had several exciting competitions.
o Latte Art World Championship Open Winners – 1st place was Umpaul, 2nd place in Zhong Hu, and 3rd Place is Lance Hendrick. America’s Best Cold Brew Still winners – 1st Place was Flat White Coffee, 2nd Place was Copa Vida and 3rd place was Augie’s Coffee. America’s Best Cold Brew Nitro Winners – 1st place is Black Ring Coffee, 2nd place is geN Brewing and 3rd place was Klatch Roasting.
o The People’s Choice Award the “Best of Fest” was presented to Starburst Power Energy Concentrate & Fruit Fusion for their Tiki Breeze Energy Power http://starburstdrinks.com/
o The 1st place winner for Consumable Products was Thaiwala for their natural Thai tea concentrate www.thaiwala.com and the 1st place winner for Non-Consumable Products was Almond Cow – for their Plant-Based Milk Maker. www.almondcow.co
* Center Stage was packed all three days of the event and featured culinary demonstrations from renowned chefs including Mareya Ibrahim, Ricardo Zarate, Brian Malarkey, Shaun O’Neale, Leslie Durso, Antonio Lofaso, and Chris Robbins.
* Karla Flores-Ybaceta, Executive Chef, Mikhuna Authentic Peruvian Cuisine won $1,000 for the Rapid Fire Challenge: Meatless Monday Edition for her Dish: Quinoa Tamales with Sarza Criolla
* Hudson Sanders from H(Hospital) Club of Los Angeles won the Hip Sip: Battle of the Modern Bartender Competition – Tequila Mezcal Edition, for his cocktail drink: “La Mujer Amada”. The event was sponsored by Bar Business Magazine.
* The education program expanded to offer 200 sessions offering subject matter experts who spoke on a variety of important topics for restaurant and foodservice professionals, coffee shop owners and those involved with healthy foods.
* The California Restaurant Association (CRA), sponsor of the event, held the Food Service and Public Health Summit which focused on new challenges in the retail food industry as they relate to food safety. In addition, Scott Blanchard, Principal and Vice President of Client Solutions at the Ken Blanchard Company taught Great Management is the Biggest Contributor to Restaurant Success for restaurant owners, operators & supervisors.
* The CRA Foundation presented Restaurants Care: Let’s Talk About Mental Health and Wellness in Restaurants where attendees heard a panel of industry experts talk about mental health and wellness in restaurants and provided open Road MAPS to foster a supportive and open environment.
* There were two international areas on the show floor including the Sabor Latino Pavilion and the China Alcoholic Drinks Association.
The 2020 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA Sunday, August 9 through Tuesday, August 11 and once again co-located with the Healthy Food Expo and Coffee Fest.
Coffee and tea professionals learned skills, received education and experience new products, alongside great networking during Coffee Fest Los Angeles. The event offered a trade show floor featuring many new companies with innovative new products; several exciting competitions including the Coffee Fest Latte Art World Championship Open; and a robust education program. For more details about Coffee Fest, to see the winners of Coffee Fest competitions and much more, visit www.coffeefest.com .
The Healthy Food Expo West focused on healthy, natural and organic food products. Attendees has access to a new “Healthy” conference program that educated restaurant, foodservice and retail professionals about the newest trends and practices in the health food industry-everything from gluten-free and allergen-free to vegan, vegetarian and plant-based foods and products. For more information, visit https://www.healthyfoodexpos.com/healthy-food-california .
About Clarion UX Restaurant & Foodservice Shows
The shows are owned and managed by Clarion UX (www.clarionux.com)and sponsored by the California Restaurant Association. Clarion UX produces several other foodservice events including The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, which will be co-located with the Healthy Food Expo, taking place Sunday, September 15 – Monday, September 16, 2019 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL; Coffee Fest PNW will take place Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center; The NGA Show taking place February 23-26, 2020 at the San Diego Convention Center; the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York which will be co-located with the Healthy Food Expo and Coffee Fest and will be held Sunday, March 8 – Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at the Javits Center in New York; and Coffee Fest Chicago taking place Thursday, June 25 through Sunday, June 28 at Navy Pier in Chicago. For more information on exhibiting or attending future events visit the official Show website at www.foodandbevshows.com