NEW YORK – Over 18,100 industry professionals, including buyers from high end restaurants, multi-unit operations and foodservice establishments from throughout New York and the surrounding states, attended this week’s International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Chefs, industry leaders, owners and operators networked and conducted business with 500 exhibiting companies at the event owned by Urban Expositions and sponsored by the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA).
“We had a tremendous event, and we thank the New York State Restaurant Association and their members, our exhibitors, attendees, speakers, and press who came out to support the only event in New York exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry,” says Ron Mathews, vice president, Restaurant & Foodservice Portfolio, Urban Expositions, producers of the event. “We were thrilled to be recognized as one of the top restaurant events in New York, and this year certainly did not disappoint. From jammed packed aisles, buzz worthy special events, timely education sessions, and thousands of new products the event truly offered something for everyone.” Highlights of the event, included:
Twenty exhibitors were chosen by media judges to Pitch the Press, and present their new product or service to editors, buyers, restaurateurs and others. Best in Show for Pitch the Press was awarded to Farms2Tables for their Hudson Valley Farms App. Other products that were presented include 1TouchAway’s Resto Digital Menu; Brooklyn Whatever’s Shmolives, Shnuts and Shpickles; ChefChargers’ Elegant Charging Station; CocoArt’s Kosher Artisan Chocolate; Contract Furniture’s Solar Powered Umbrella; Forno deMinas, Cheese Rolls; Heat Chef Apparel’s Cooling Chef Jackets; LoliWare’s Biodegredible Cups; SaniStation’s Knife Cleaners; Steelite’s Melamine Bone China; Takahashi’s Umepon Orange and Plum liquor; Taste This Foods’ fresh organic and non-dairy ricotta; Modalito’s TenkeItalia Gelato Carts; The Chaat Company’s Savory Yogurt; Paris Gourmet’s MODA Tart Shells; and Valrhona’s Hazelnut Milk Chocolate. The judges included Michael Scinto from Total Foodservice, Sara Webber from Catering Magazine, Jeffrey Dryfoos from Dessert Professional, Barbara Castaglia from Restaurant Management, and Dave Turner from Tabletop Journal.
Attendees voted in several categories in the Innovative New Product Showcase. The Overall Winner was The Catering Box for The Catering Box Side Bar; The 1st Place Runner Up was Allies GF Goodies for their homemade gluten free products; The 2nd Place Runner Up was Heat Chef Apparel for their innovated chef jackets; and Best New Product in the Food Trends Experience was Padilla Imports for their Chile Habanero Hot Sauce.
The Culinary Demonstration Theater included the presentation of the Torch Award to acclaimed restaurateur Drew Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group; the Beacon Award to Celebrity Chef Sara Moulton; and the NEW Rapid Fire Challenge: Appetizer face-off which was won by Manjit Manohar, The Pierre Hotel for his Eggplant appetizer. In addition, there were culinary demonstrations presented by Chef Ricky Estrellado of Nobu; Stephen Yen from Paige Hospitality Group; Justine MacNeil from Del Posto; Celebrity Chef Anton Testino; Certified Master Chef Fritz Sonnenschmidt and others.
The exhibit hall featured the expanded “Pub” which offered 20 innovative craft beverages including beers, ciders, wines, spirits, and more; the new Burger and Beer Lounge, where attendees lined up to enjoy the East Meats West Burger Bar – presented by One World Beef, paired with brews from Anheuser Busch; the Japan Pavilion, featuring Sake and Sochu; the Food Trends Experience where 75 new companies provided samples of fabulous new foods that are inspiring new fresh menu ideas; and Taste NY Food & Craft Beverage Showcase featured over 40 New York food and beverage companies who showcased locally grown products.
The Sixth Annual Farm to City Expo focused on The New Marketplace: Local Food in Emerging Markets and featured speakers included Richard Ball, Commissioner, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets; Linda LaViolet, director of Farmers Markets, Empire State Development and Rachna Govani,co-founder, Foodstand.
The New York State Restaurant Association, hosted a panel discussion on the future of tipping, and its effect on the industry. A standing room only crowd heard from a panel which featured Marc Murphy, chef & owner, Benchmarc Restaurants (Landmarc & Ditch Plains) and Benchmarc Events; Amanda Cohen, chef/owner of Dirt Candy; Felice Eckelman, Jackson Lewis; Dino Lavorino, Union Square Hospitality Group; Edwin Guerrero, Havana Central; and was moderated by Melissa Autilio Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association.
A highlight of the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum was the 5th Anniversary Foodservice Council for Women session on Women Winning in Business. During the session Chef Chloe Coscarelli, by CHLOE; Samantha Wasser, ESquared Hospitality & by CHLOE; Joan Axelrod Siegelwax, Love & Quiches Gourmet; Melissa Fleischut, the New York State Restaurant Association; and Isabela Wojcik, James Beard Foundation joined Kathleen Wood of Kathleen Wood Partners to discuss what it takes to succeed in the foodservice industry today.
Paris Gourmet announced Justin Fry from Norman Love Confections, Miami, FL as the winner of the coveted title of Pastry Chef of the Year for his technical chocolate and sugar sculpted showpiece based on the theme Magic & Illusions. Chef Fry won a $10,000 grand prize, a silver plaque, and gold medal certificate. 2nd Place Winner was Nicolas Chevrieux, Maison Kayser, New York City. Chef Chevrieux won $3,500 and a silver medal. 3rd Place Winner was Joseph Settepani, Pasticceria Bruno, Staten Island, NY. Chef Settepani won $2,500 and a bronze medal. New this year was the Junior Pastry Chef Challenge. The winners were First place: Zinzi Mpande, Culinary Institute of NY at Monroe College, New Rochelle, NY; Second place: Pooja Jhunjihunwala, Institute of Culinary Education, New York, NY; and Third place to Kiann Crus, Culinary Institute at Monroe College, New Rochelle, NY.
At the close of the Show, exhibitors contributed over 10,000 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.