Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show a Success for Thousands of Industry Professionals

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show a Success for Thousands of Industry ProfessionalsThousands of restaurant and foodservice industry professionals enjoyed three days of tasting new products, meeting with new vendors and attending educational programs offering new concepts at the 43rd annual Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show which was held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando September 7-9, 2014. The event was sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, a partner of the National Restaurant Association.

“The energy and excitement on the show floor was fantastic, highlighted by a standing room only crowd to see Emeril Lagasse in our Culinary Theater,” said Ron Mathews, Industry Vice President for the Foodservice Events.”We thank our exhibitors, attendees, the speakers and chefs and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association in making this a hugely successful event.”

Exhibitors had this to say about the recent Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show. “This is year number 16 so I’ve been a big part of the Florida Show and always got a huge amount of return and a great big success from the show,” said Darren Dennington, Service with Style Hospitality Group. “This year in particular the traffic has been absolutely amazing!  I understand that they completely sold out on booths. The educational seminars are jam packed.  The buzz is here and everybody working on the show has really put a major effort into it.  And you can see it, you can feel it!  You can hear it! You can taste it and smell it!  It’s been just a great, great show.”

“This was our first visit to the Florida Restaurant Show and our impression was a job well done. We had great traffic and with some of the connections we have made will be well worth our investment,” said Steve Archibald, Sales Rep, Original Bills Steakstrip’s/Benny’s Bloody Mary Straws.

Highlights of the event, included:

  • Celebrity Chefs: Emeril Lagasse and Ryan Vargas of Tchoup Chop headlined the Food Trends Experience Culinary & Tasting Theater when they prepared Sesame Ahi Tuna to a standing room only crowd. Additional chefs included Peter Vossenberg of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Master Chef Francis Biondi, Keith Esbin, Bar Harbor Seafood Corporation and others.
  • The award for Top Trend in the Food Trends Experience was presented to Carousel Cakes – Pumpkin Pie/Cheesecake. Thousands of restaurant and foodservice professionals had the opportunity to see, taste, discover and learn about the new culinary innovations from 56 companies that inspired creative and fresh menu ideas.
  • The Winners of the People’s Choice Awards for the Innovative New Product Gallery were announced during the Show. Thousands of attendees voted for their favorite products. The overall winner was Mr. Bey Foods – Chocolate Petit Gateau. The 1stplace runner up was Chef Innovations – Get a Grip, Chef’s Grip; and the 2nd place runner up was Wikki Stix Co – with a brand new Self Stick No Glue product for kids.
  • The top restaurant menu trend is focused on local sourcing and The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services sponsored the new Fresh from Florida Pavilion, which offered tantalizing organic, sustainable, artisanal, gluten-free and ethnic ingredients giving restaurant and foodservice operators the opportunity to source local, Florida offerings.
  • Thousands of attendees received free education during more than 30+ sessions at The Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum.  Several of the sessions attracted large audiences including The Future of Fine Dining featuring Jerome Bocuse, Chefs de France and executives from The Ravenous Pig, Cress, and K Restaurant and Wine Bar and a session on Big Brand Discuss Current and Future Menu Trends with speakers from Another Broken Egg of America, Hard Rock Café, Talk of the Town Restaurant Group, and Nestle Corporate.
  • $35K Give Away – During the Expo more than 30 attendees were awarded a $500 or $1,000 product voucher to cash in for new products or menu staples from our 2014 Distributor Partners. The program offered $35,000 in redeemable product vouchers and were awarded to representatives from: Wally’s BBQ; Bansai Burger; Roy’s Restaurant & Lighthouse Restaurant; Gaylord Palms; M1Moose Lodge; Tijuana Flats Casselberry; SMA Behavioral Healthcare; Kobe Japanese Steakhouse; 1933 Pub & Grill; Collins Catering; Stonewood Tavern & Grill; Celebration Town Tavern; Sabor Aruba; Windsor of Bradenton; Stuart Corinthian Yacht Club, Po Folk, Johnson’s BBQ, Mutts On 13th; Bio Brazil Churrascaria; Mel’s Diner; Hideway Beach Club; JC’s BBQ; Dolphin View; Snook Haven; Mo-Bay Grill; and Chesterfield Hotel to name a few.
  • The 2014 American Culinary Federation Culinary Arts Competition presented medals in several categories:
    • R.L Schreiber Apprentice/Jr Member Florida State Champion Team Skills:
      • Gold: Le Cordon Bleu, Miami, Florida
      • Silver: Universal Orlando, Orlando, Florida
      • Bronze: First Coast Technical College, St. Augustine, Florida; Florida Technical College, Kissimmee, Florida
    • Taste of Elegance Signature Pork Recipe Competition:
      • Gold: Raul Gonzalez, The Bear’s Club
      • Silver: Brian Moll, The Club of Mediterra
      • Bronze: Karen Robinson, Citrus Park Christian School
    • USA Culinary Cup Competition:
      • Gold: Team Charlotte
      • Silver: Oregon Coast Culinary Institute
      • Bronze: Universal Orlando II
    • Florida Pastry Challenge:
      • Gold: Denise Elliott, Norman Love Confections, Ft. Meyer, Florida
      • Silver: Nely Santiago, Florida Technical College, Kissimmee, Florida
      • Bronze: Tim Blouin, Grand Harbor, Vero Beach, Florida
    • Florida Department of Agriculture Shrimp Signature Recipe:
      • Gold: Michael Priola CEC AAC, Seminole HardRock Hotel and Casino Tampa, Brandon, Florida
      • Silver: Tyler Field, The Mediterra Club, Naples, Florida
      • Bronze: Robert Christian, Isleworth Golf and Country Club, Orlando, Florida
  • At the close of the Show, the exhibitors of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show donated thousands of pounds of food to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated food to more than 500 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties


About The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show

The 2015 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show will be held Tuesday, October 6 – Thursday, October 8, 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The Show is produced and managed by Urban Expositions, and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. Urban Expositions produces several other foodservice events including the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York to be held Sunday, March 8 – Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York and The Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo will be held Sunday, August 23 through Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. For more information on exhibiting or attending future events visit the official Show website at www.thefoodshows.com.