National Restaurant Association Show Explores Food and Drink Trends

National Restaurant Association Show Explores Food and Drink Trends

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National Restaurant Association Show Explores Food and Drink Trends

The 2009 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show® is the culinary world’s leading event to explore the hottest restaurant menu trends happening now, as well as the trends of tomorrow.

Scores of food and beverage product innovations will be showcased throughout the exhibit floor, in interactive culinary demonstrations and education sessions led by top chefs, restaurateurs, forecasters and trend-setters during this years event, which runs May 16-19 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

Attendees will get a year’s worth of ideas for menus that will be sure to wow their guests in dining rooms, bars, takeout counters, private parties, weddings and any other foodservice venue.

“To stay competitive in the current economy, restaurants must satisfy consumers’ constantly changing needs by keeping their menus fresh. NRA Show 2009 will bring together a global marketplace that offers attendees ideas and products they can take home and apply to their own menus,” said Lorna Donatone, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2009 and President of School Services, Sodexo, Inc.

Many of the nation’s nearly one million restaurants are adjusting their menu mix to what consumers are looking for in the current economy to attract guests with both great value and exciting meals. Nearly seven out of 10 consumers say that restaurants offer flavors and tastes that can’t be duplicated at home.

Some of the hottest menu trends right now, according to the Association’s ‘What’s Hot’ survey of more than 1,600 chefs, include:

  • local and organic produce,
  • bite-size desserts,
  • healthy dishes for children,
  • new/fabricated cuts of meat,
  • superfruits,
  • small plates, and
  • sustainable seafood.

On beverage menus, the latest trends include artisan liquor, culinary cocktails, organic wine, craft and specialty beer, and specialty iced tea.

Highlighting these trends, the NRA Show will feature a top-of-the-line culinary demonstration area – the Culinary Scene – which offers viewers an interactive experience with featured chefs and butchers who will perform demonstrations.

Under the theme ‘profitable proteins,’ the Culinary Scene lineup includes master butchers and top chefs preparing new, fabricated, underused and uncommon cuts of beef, pork, lamb and even alligator. This area will also showcase the winner of the 2009 NRA Show Hot Chef Grilling Challenge.

Held in conjunction with the Show will be the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event, which is dedicated to beverage alcohol in restaurant and hospitality outlets. Alcohol and food pairings will be a major IWSB feature.

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