NEW YORK – This past weekend, thousands of buyers from high end restaurants, multi-unit operations and foodservice establishments throughout New York and surrounding states networked and conducted business during the 21st annual International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York. The three-day trade show and conference was sponsored by the New York State Restaurant Association, which launched a 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,” says Ron Mathews, Industry Vice President for Urban Expositions’ Foodservice Events.
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. The Best in Show was awarded to Bon Chef for stainless steel hammered serving pieces and three wall cold wave miracle bowls. The 2nd Place Runner Up was Edibles by Jack for Edible Asian Spoons; and 3rd place went to Verterra for Stylish, Sustainable, Compostable Dinnerware. Best New Product for the Food Trends Experience was Mr. Bey Lava Cake with a Chocolat Petit Gateau Gourmet Molten Cake.
The Culinary Demonstration Theater offered 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 with creative umami recipes were invited to compete on-stage for an all-expense paid culinary trip to Japan. 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 drew over 2,000 attendees to 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 showcased over 40 local, New York food and beverage companies offering locally grown products from farmers and food processors. The Taste NY initiativeed 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. Next year’s show is scheduled to take place March 1-3, 2015.