Saturday, March 15, 2008

International Restaurant Show of New York ----New York

Being an events blogger, you happen to get a lot of perks. One is to get press passes to a number of great shows, restaurant openings and exhibitions. I was once again lucky enough to get a press pass for the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York, March 9-11. This show, could be easily described as the heaven of restaurateurs, chefs, event and food industry experts, and of each individual who has developed a pleasant and comfortable relationship with food.

The show was the host of a series of fun events: The Ultimate Barista Challenge USA, the PMQ's New York Pizza Show, the 19th Annual US Pastry Competition, the Innovative New Product Gallery and the Japanese Demonstration Pavilion and Theater. Needless to mention the hundreds of exhibitors from all over the world with tasty food samples and plenty of ideas for your next catering event.

What are the new trends in the restaurant and foodservice business? Here are my observations, coming not from a professional in this industry but from rather a serial party/event go-er and attendee:

-Popularity and proliferation of ice-cream vendors - maybe because we reached the end of the winter?

-The beginning of the end of high-protein, law-carb diets: with so many pastry and baking representatives together with pizza competitions, I strongly believe that people love carbs!

-Strong Japanese food presence -even if it was seriously supported by the Japanese government (it seems).

-Macaroons - the new cupcakes for fancy events and not only! Yet, the trend has to gain force.

I personally like party food and I gave in to most of the sample tastings with the exception of white breads and pizzas I don't really like. But I tried meats, chocolates, ice-cream, coffee and plenty of sushi and green tea from the Japanese Pavilion.

Finally, I wouldn't be fair if I didn't mention Thomas Keller's inspiring speech in his seminar. He proved to be not only a successful restaurateur, chef and business owner, but also a wise person everybody should seek advice from. Unfortunately, he didn't offer any tips on how to by-pass the waiting lists for his upper class restaurants!