Monday at the NRA: Our Top Ten Finds

Monday at the NRA: Our Top Ten Finds

Food & Drink

Monday at the NRA: Our Top Ten Finds

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As we’ve done each day of the Show, The Food Channel Team scoured the halls, attended the seminars, stopped by the receptions and sampled the new products to come up with our Top Ten Finds for the day.

1. We start with Ted Turner, simply because his name is bigger and his cause is huge. Turner’s interest in the environment, including reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, recyling, and otherwise improving the planet for future generations is more than words – he shows a keen personal interest in making it happen. For his support of various green initiatives, Turner earns top spot. See our video interview by clicking here.

2. The French Pastry School made a dramatic announcement of their own that will impact the environment surrounding weddings from now on. They will be adding a 16-week class in wedding cakes, and doing an 11,000 sq. ft. expansion of their space in downtown Chicago. See our expanded story here.

3. Yowsa! There’s just no other word for the enthusiam that Greg Grunberg, star of the TV show Heroes, shows for his new concept. Yowsa is a consumer product that could help restaurateurs get more people in the door through easy specials and couponing. He’s doing it right, and he’s nice while he’s doing it.

4. The U.S. Department of Commerce presented a Certificate of Appreciation for Achievement in Trade to the NRA. The award was accepted by Mary Pat Heftman, Executive Vice President for the Convention. Recognition is always pretty cool; made more so by the fact that this means business.

5. Cupcakes continue to be on trend, and we don’t know anyone who doesn’t find the new cupcake stands fun. Sweet Street Desserts also showcased “pipeables” that had people enjoying the surprise toppings and flavor combinations. One of the more eye-catching displays at the show (or were we just hungry?)

6. Japan came to life for us in several ways, but particularly through the food. The booths in this Pavilion brought a new twist on traditional Japanese foods – from a soy-based sushi pocket to a variety of sauces. Tradition is still important; taste, however, may be expanded. See where the host at this booth really likes to eat! Click here.

7. We saw a lot of innovation in the design of beer taps – bringing more attention to the beer itself, and more excitement to the point of sale. We saw lights that looked like iphone applications (those little buttons). We saw taps that looked like they were frozen cold, a great marketing concept that made us think we were thirsty.

8. icook (but I don’t clean) . . . and now I can even get my nutritional information off this cool, new database. This company is paving the way to meet a number of issues on the horizon, including how to address menu labeling and nutrition counting. Also check out their justaddrecipes.com.

9. The cheese lady – otherwise known as Paula Lambert – caught our attention because years ago she was an art student who went to Italy to study. She fell in love with the food, but when she returned to America she couldn’t find the wonderful Italian cheeses she’d learned to enjoy. With great American ingenuity, she started making her own. And now she’s written two books, and is a big-time award winner for her cheeses. Talk about a domestic goddess. Hear directly from her in this link to our favorite restaurants video.

10. “A hand-woven tea cluster magically unfolds to reveal a jasmine flower hidden within.” Intrigued? So were we. This cool tea just needs to be steeped for 5 minutes and you can enjoy it with all of your senses.

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