The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) annouced this week that noted executive chef Dan Barber will be the keynote speaker at the gala sofiâ„¢ Awards ceremony at the 56th Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City.
The show is June 27 â€“ 29, 2010, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The sofi Awards recognize excellence in specialty foods and beverages in 33 categories and are considered the top honor in the $60 billion specialty food industry.
The acronym â€˜sofiâ€™ stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation. The awards are the highlight of the Summer Fancy Food Show, the largest marketplace for specialty food in North America.
Barber, a prominent figure in the artisan and local food movement, was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2009. He is co-owner of the restaurants Blue Hill in New York City and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., and is a board member of the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. In honor of Barber’s appearance at the sofi Awards, NASFT will donate his speaking fee to City Harvest, New York’s only food rescue program and the Fancy Food Show’s charity of choice for the past 20 years, and to the Stone Barns Center.
â€˜Our sofi Awards represent the best of the best,â€™ said Ann Daw, president of the NASFT, the show’s owner. â€˜Dan Barber will surely provide great inspiration to the hundreds of devoted food artisans and entrepreneurs who attend this special ceremony.â€™
Barber is a member of City Harvest’s Food Council. Since 2007 alone, exhibitors at the Summer Fancy Food Show have donated more than half a million pounds of high-quality food to City Harvest, enough to fill 13 tractor trailers. The show donation has long been the largest single donation of perishable food to City Harvest each year. â€˜We are grateful for the amazing food that City Harvest is able to rescue each year for hungry New Yorkers at the close of the Fancy Food Show. NASFT’s financial contribution in partnership with Chef Barber further supports City Harvest’s efforts to feed hungry men, women and children at a time when more of our neighbors are relying on us,â€™ said Jilly Stephens, City Harvest’s executive director.
The sofi Awards will be presented June 28, 2010, at 5 p.m. at the Javits Center. For more information and to purchase tickets, you may go to www.fancyfoodshows.com/attend.