2016 Food and Beverage Trade Shows Wrap-Up

By Wilbert Jones


Pictured: BakerStone Pizza Oven Box

Annually, from the months of May through June, well over 100,000 food and beverage professionals come to Chicago to attend or exhibit at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Sweets & Snacks Expo, and/or Food Marketing Institute Connect.

There’s always the anticipation of sampling creative products and learning about the coolest new technology, along with plenty of hands-on cooking demonstrations by a host of chefs, mixologists and manufacturers.

This past May, the National Restaurant Association Restaurant (NRA) drew more than 67,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. This is the largest annual gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals in the world. A one highlight was the Forno de Minas product line Brazilian imported cheese rolls. These are gluten free, all natural “breads of cheese” are made with tapioca starch, a specialty cheese, milk and eggs. They are sold frozen and can be purchased in large grocery stores throughout the U.S. marketplace.

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Taste the Culture at the 4th Annual Creole United Festival

The Northern California festival is a celebration of everything community and more!

The Creole United Festival celebrates its 4th year in Marin County, a rhythmic magnet attracting all generations from throughout the U.S. and abroad.


Pictured: Andre Thierry

Grammy-nominated artist, Andre Thierry, brings high energy and captivating entertainment with special guest bands from Louisiana and Texas. The festival is fun for all ages with arts and crafts, a Kidz Zone, wooden dance floor, food vendors selling a variety of authentic Louisiana flavors, Creole cuisines combined with a blend of California favorites and libations.

Marin County, known for its mild weather and legendary waterfront, makes it a popular destination for the festival. The festival venue, Lagoon Park in San Rafael located in the heart of beautiful Marin, is just one famous bridge away from San Francisco and right next door to the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma. General admission tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

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Chick-fil-A Offers Free Breakfast Item for “Chick-fil-A One” App Users

Restaurant company thanks users of new app with second national giveaway

Any customer who downloads (or updates) the Chick-fil-A One app through September 10 will receive an offer for a free breakfast entree, redeemable through September 30. (PRNewsFoto/Chick-fil-A, Inc.)

To thank users for making the new Chick-fil-A One™ mobile app one of the top downloaded apps following its June launch and help ease customers into the “back to school” season, Chick-fil-A® is offering app users a free breakfast reward this month. Through Sept. 10, Chick-fil-A customers who already have a Chick-fil-A One account or download the app and create a new account will receive a free breakfast item. Options available are a Chicken Biscuit, three-count Chick-n-Minis or Chick-fil-A’s new grilled chicken breakfast sandwich, the Egg White Grill. Guests will have until Sept. 30 to redeem the offer.

“We know our customers are busy, and life gets even busier for families when kids head back to school,” saidMichael Lage, senior manager of digital experience for Chick-fil-A. “Chick-fil-A One is all about making our customers’ experience even faster, more convenient and more personal than ever before. The best part is that through Chick-fil-A One, we’re able to say ‘thank you’ by surprising guests with their choice of a free breakfast when they’re in a hurry, and they can choose from one of our classic menu favorites like a Chicken Biscuit, or try something new on us.”

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White Castle® Celebrates National Grandparents Month

Share your memories and register to win prizes

Castle Shares logo. (PRNewsFoto/White Castle)

For 95 years, grandparents have passed their love of the Crave onto the next generation of Cravers – their grandchildren. September is National Grandparents Month, and this year, White Castle, through its Castle Shares initiative, is honoring the special bond grandparents and grandchildren share by investing in the next generations’ future. Throughout the month of September, grandparents and grandchildren across the country are invited to enter a contest on social media for a chance to win one of 10 $250 cash prizes. Grandparents can put the money towards their grandchildren’s education or use it to create more memorable moments together.

“As a family-owned business, we understand the key role grandparents play in our lives,” said Jamie Richardson, White Castle vice president. “At White Castle, we celebrate Grandparents Month by encouraging older generations of Cravers to share precious memories and valuable life lessons with their grandchildren.”

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The Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival’s Signature Events This Fall

Plus, the Chance to Audition LIVE for the Hit Food Network Series Chopped

100% of the net proceeds from the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival benefit the hunger-relief organizations No Kid Hungry(R) and Food Bank For New York City.(PRNewsFoto/Food Network New York City Wine)

With nearly 100 events taking place around the city October 13 – 16, the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF) will once again set out  to help EAT. DRINK. END HUNGER. this Fall.  To date, the Festival has raised more than$9.5 million to support the fight to end hunger with No Kid Hungry® and Food Bank For New York City.  Events will be held at various iconic locations throughout New York City, with NYCWFF’s signature events taking place at its culinary campus located at Piers 92 & 94 in Midtown West.

Kicking the culinary extravaganza off at Pier 92 on Thursday, October 13 is Barilla’s Italian Table presented by Alfa Romeo hosted by Giada De Laurentiis.  Chefs from than 25 of New York City’s best Italian joints, pizzerias, meatball shops and more will serve up delectable fare for the most discerning palates to savor while overlooking the Hudson River.  Complete with a scattering of authentic Marra Forni wood-burning ovens, and wine and spirits from Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and beer offerings from Manhattan Beer, this signature taste of Italy sets the perfect tone for the rest of the weekend.  The festivities continue on Friday, October 14 at the iconic Blue Moon Burger Bash presented Pat LaFrieda Meats hosted Rachael Ray.  Here, more than two dozen chefs will compete for top honors, including reigning 2015 Blue Moon People’s Choice Award-winner Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer and Pat LaFrieda’s 2015 NYCWFF Burger Bash® Champion BBD’s.  While the attendee’s will once again decide this year’s Blue Moon People’s Choice Award-winner, the 2016 Pat LaFrieda Burger Bash® Champion will be chosen by a panel of celebrity judges; including David Burtka, Josh Capon, Neil Patrick Harris, and Michael Strahan.

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The Clift Hotel Introduces New Indian Summer Food and Cocktail Menu

By V. Sheree Williams

As my own schedule continues to get busier and busier, I finally understand why happy hour was created; to maintain one’s sanity.  Now, by my own definition, it is a time to unwind (by yourself or with others), eat, drink and throw away a couple of hours before reality sets back in.  I realized that I don’t do this as often as I should and I am working to change that.

Clift Hotel

Pictured: Clift Hotel Lobby

Maybe it is all about timing, and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the Clift Hotel in San Francisco introduced its Indian Summer food and cocktail menu featured in its iconic Redwood Room.  Located minutes from Union Square, the hotel is recorded as the first “earthquake proof hotel” in the city, built in 1915. Described as a property that fuses “Old World elegance with modern and daring design,” it boasts a bee sanctuary and herb garden on its rooftop and is frequently the hot spot for travelers, high-profile events and celebrities that include Gwen Stefani, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

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Viola Davis, The Albertsons Companies Foundation and The Entertainment Industry Foundation Team Up To Provide Five Million Breakfasts

Award-winning actress and Hunger Is Ambassador Viola Davis supporting the fight to eradicate childhood hunger in the United States. (PRNewsFoto/Entertainment Industry Founda...)

Emmy Award®-winning actress Viola Davis, the Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) have come together to produce the new Hunger Is “Hungry for More” campaign which focuses on the importance of daily breakfast for children, seeking to provide five million more breakfasts this year to children in need. Hunger Is, a joint charitable program of the Albertsons Companies Foundation and EIF, designed to raise awareness and funds to fight childhood hunger in America, will feature this PSA campaign in select Albertsons family of stores during the month of September. The print, broadcast, digital and out-of-home PSA campaign will begin running in August.
Shoppers at the Albertsons family of stores — which include Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Shaw’s, Star Market, Tom Thumb, Randalls, ACME Markets and others — will have the opportunity to fight childhood hunger in their communities by giving to Hunger Is during an in-store fundraising campaign the month of September at more than 2,300 Albertsons family of stores across the U.S. Funds raised through the in-store campaign will contribute toward reaching the five million breakfasts goal.

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University of the Pacific to Host Free Food Studies Seminars

Are you a food enthusiast? Do you have a passion for food? You are invited to attend the Food Studies Saturday Seminars inspired by our Master of Arts in Food Studies program. The seminars feature food experts, food entrepreneurs, and food scholars – all looking to enrich your passion for food. Each presentation features a fascinating food topic followed by an opportunity to mingle, discuss, and enjoy light refreshments. Saturday Seminars begin at 3pm; they are free and open to the public. They are held at the University of the Pacific Center: 155 5th St, Minna St Entrance, San Francisco and reservations are appreciated. To RSVP please click here.

1) September 17, 2016, 3-4:30pm: “So you want to write a cookbook?” with Dianne Jacob
Are you a writer, enthusiastic home cook or cooking class devotee who dreams of writing a cookbook? Learn how the publishing industry works, what you need to do to attract an agent or publisher, and if self-publishing is for you.

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