I LOVE May and June! This is the time of year when food purveyors, from organizations both large and small, take the stage to showcase their offerings. Did I mention that I love this season—which many of us call “show season”—the months of May, June and July? It’s the time when influential foodies stage at least a half-dozen major food expos. In this week’s Foodie Friday post, I’m focusing on 3 of the expos I consider “don’t-miss events” during this busy time of year.
1) The National Restaurant Show
As I referred to in a previous edition of Foodie Friday, I just returned from Chicago and the National Restaurant Association Show (May 16-19) which was attended by more than 44,000 people this year. I saw lots of great ideas, and met many talented and passionate food makers and sellers. It was often hard to resist the many sampling opportunities—including vegan, ancient grains, organic, grass-fed beef, fresh-made subs, desserts and beverages of all shapes, sizes and flavors. I enjoyed the educational sessions as well, especially one hosted by Jim Dudlicek of Progressive Grocer Magazine on Advancements in Retail Foodservice. I’m still smiling as I think about some of the friendly interactions I had with people at this show.
2) The IDDBA
My next show experience is The International Dairy/Deli/Bakery Show, scheduled for June 7-9 in Atlanta.
It is hard to believe that this will be my 32nd time to attend the show.
A couple of years ago, I was honored to be selected as the recipient of the 2013 President/Chairman’s Award. It was a wonderful experience to visit with my family, many friends and colleagues, to spend time with Chairman/President Voni Woods, and to visit with long-time CEO Carol Christison at what would be her final show (as she passed away on March 4th of last year). I truly enjoy this show and all of the food and hospitality events surrounding the morning sessions, speakers and expo.
My congratulations to Mike Eardley, who is the new CEO of the IDDBA. Mike and his team are working diligently to deliver value to members.
3) The Fancy Food Show
Later in June, I plan on traveling to New York City to be part of the Summer Fancy Food Show (June 28-June 30)—a wonderful multi-level pavilion of food and beverage offerings staged by the Specialty Food Association. The FFS is held in the Jacob Javits Center, and is filled with foodies, farmers, cooks and culinarians. Aisle after aisle is chock full of surprises. I’m sure to find lots of great ideas for future blog posts, insider info about what’s trending, and delicious foodie inspirations at this event!
I hope you enjoy your summer as much as I do, that you keep looking for great new recipes to try, and that you make new foodie connections. Stay tuned for what we have in store next time!
Here are last year’s finalists for the Sofi Awards at the Summer Fancy Food Show, including a finalist from my current hometown of Nashville—Olive & Sinclair Bourbon Nib Brittle. Check out some of these other awesomely unusual culinary creations such as chevre goat-cheese cheesecake, beet and butternut squash ravioli, oatmeal cookie butter, and toasted coconut chips for yourself!