No doubt about it. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show is the premier event for food folks and fanatics everywhere. And the 2009 show is no exception to that, recession or no darn recession! Here’s a view from the floor:
In the digit-licking-good department:
There are a lot of food samples, so pace yourself. My personal start included a tart and creamy soft-serve that gave me the required fuel to cover the whole floor.
Everyone’s favorite color:
You gotta go green. Green was in vogue as most exhibitors were offering a eco-logical service, equipment system or product to help keep the earth clean…and green.
In the gosh-gee-wize area:
System innovations were the order of the day in the Technology Pavilion which featured the latest gizmos and gadgets available, including POS systems, wireless technologies, ordering and delivery, inventory control, customer relationship management, electronic and online marketing and other products. There was lots of innovation around with Lincoln Foodservice Products a Manitowoc Foodservice company displaying its Quest Energy Management System one of three products and systems which had the distinction of being NRA 2009 Kitchen Innovations Award winners.
The most appreciated addition:
All of those dispensers of antiseptic hand wash placed strategically around the floor. Good idea.
Speaking of germs…giant ones at that:
A group of actors dressed as brightly colored but nonetheless nefarious viruses and bacteria used the show floor as a platform to protest the ‘germicidal’ maniacs at the Sani Professional company. Germ leaders Sal Monella and Liz Teria loudly decry the sanitizing efforts of the Sani Professional products citing their ‘total disregard to the welfare and lifestyle of germs everywhere.’ The giant germ protest was occasionally interrupted to provide photo ops for unwary show goers. I trust that anyone involved in the demonstration made liberal use of the afore mentioned hand sanitizers!
In the carnivore-craze department:
Butchery is back. It’s a still a carnivore crazy society in the US and that’s why new and inventive cuts of meat are popping up as one of the 2009 Chef Survey hot trends. The best and brightest chefs and master butchers have sharpened up their knives and are demonstrating the latest butchering and cutting preparations. Improving traditional cuts and creative use of of less common bits can help operators drive more profit from their protein.
Calendar note: Marcus Samuelson of Aquavit and Riingo in New York, Amy Shoup Mennen of Shoups Country Foods and Chris Cosentino of Boccalone and Incanto in San Francisco will be showing sharp tips to show attendees all day on Sunday. Better butchering and cutting means better menu items and better customer satisfaction for less cost. Now that’s cutting edge.
Guest Blogger Kevin Beauseigneur gives his perspective live from the Show floor.