Tuesday, June 5, 2012

67 days until we meet in New Orleans for EXPO!

For the past 59 years, the Gulf Coast region’s restaurant and hospitality industry professionals convene in August at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center for Louisiana Foodservice and Hospitality EXPO. This year’s show is August 11-13, 2012 and promises a wide spectrum of companies under one roof that service all aspects of restaurant and hotel operations.

Forty new companies have signed on so far and a host of familiar companies are also on board for EXPO shoppers.  With nearly 450 booths representing more than 300 companies, you couldn’t possibly research and contact all of them with your busy schedule, so we’ve done the work for you. All you have to do is attend the show!

An exciting new feature of the EXPO this year is the Idea Zone.  Designed with your itinerary in mind, these sessions and presentations are 30 to 45 minutes, so to not take you off your shopping path for too long. Here’s a preview of what you can except on Saturday, August 11 in the Idea Zone, located on the Show Floor at the end of the 100 aisle.

Rice, Rice Baby kicks off the Idea Zone Saturday at Noon with LSU Ag Center Rice Specialist Dr. Johnny Saichuk and “The Rice Lady,” Nina Camacho of Jazzmen Rice. The two will reveal the science and secrets to selecting the best grain of rice for any dish you can dream up!  Following the presentation, Louisiana ProStart students will use the cooked rice in a specially prepared dish for attendees to enjoy.

One of the hottest young chefs in New Orleans right now—Borgne’s Executive Chef Brian Landry—will present Fish of the Gulf: Catch it, Scale it, Prepare, Conserve it! with Ocean Conservancy’s Jeff Bargar. Landry will explain how he determines which Gulf fish to serve and Bargar will identify fish at risk of overfishing and overpopulation. ProStart students will assist.

Back by popular demand is What’s the profitability in various cuts of beef? presented by the Louisiana Beef Industry Council. This session will examine the cuts of beef, preferred cooking methods and temperatures and which cuts are more popular and profitable.

Another EXPO favorite is the session Increase your check average with dessert and coffee pairing. Would you like dessert or coffee? is often heard at the end of a restaurant meal. How about we phrase that differently? Would you like a delicious slice of our house made banana cream pie or a frothy café au lait?” Which one would produce more results? Community Coffee’s Brian Girardot and Louisiana Culinary Institute’s Chef Christina Nicosia will provide insight to help you move more dessert and coffee pairings.

Finally on Saturday, Zatarain’s Robert Debert will use his “passion for flavor” to inspire you with Spice it up with Zatarain’s! Create dynamite sauces and more! Debert will share a variety of seasoning blends of the parent company McCormick—the world’s largest seasoning producer—to give you countless applications to spice up your own signature dishes.

Idea Zone sessions are complimentary with your EXPO admission.  To get a head start on your successful Louisiana Foodservice and Hospitality EXPO trip, visit the Louisiana Restaurant Association's EXPO page to explore the companies you will see on the floor, chart your course and create your itinerary.

We’re looking forward to EXPO! Are you?

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