The National Restaurant Association has announced a new feature at its International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB): the Menu Pairings Event. IWSB is held in conjunction with NRA Show 2009 and is the industry’s only forum focused exclusively on operator beverage alcohol-related needs.
“Pairing wine, beer and even cocktails with menu items is a growing trend that enhances the dining experience and can prove a great way to build restaurant and foodservice bar programs,” said Lorna Donatone, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2009 and President, School Services, Sodexo, Inc.
Beverage industry leaders exhibiting in IWSB will team up with some of Chicago’s top restaurants. The chefs will work side by side with sommeliers, mixologists, and brew masters to create a frenzy of flavors and taste experiences. Each chef will prepare inventive dishes, which are then expertly paired with a beverage that complements the flavors, textures, and style of cuisine.
According to National Restaurant Association research (and also reflected in The Food Channel’s annual Trends report, found here), signature cocktails and flavor pairings are hot trends in restaurants this year. More than 1,600 American Culinary Federation member chefs surveyed by the Association in its “What’s Hot in 2009” said mixologists/signature drinks, functional and culinary cocktails, artisan liquor, craft and specialty beer, organic wine and food-alcohol pairings will be the biggest trends in beverage-alcohol service in 2009.