Wednesday, June 13, 2012

IDEA ZONE designed to enhance your EXPO experience

The days are flying off the calendar and we are now 57 days out from the Louisiana Restaurant Association's 59th Annual Louisiana Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO! In New Orleans, August 11-13, at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, hundreds of companies will exhibit their products and services for thousands of restaurateurs and hoteliers.

New to this year’s EXPO is the IDEA ZONE! We’ve gathered industry experts, chefs and restaurateurs to present on various topics targeted toward your success, profitability and creativity. The Saturday line up was covered in last week’s post.  This week we are giving you a preview of who you will hear on the Show Floor Sunday, August 12.

Cochon Butcher Chef Ian Barrilleaux
will kick off Sunday's Idea Zone with
"Charcuterie Showdown."
Charcuterie is popping up on menus every day and with the rich German influences in Louisiana, we turned to Donald Link’s Cochon Butcher Charcutiere Ian Barrilleaux. Just blocks from the EXPO, sits an artisanal meat show, where Barrilleaux focuses on delivering delicious European cured meats and Cajun sausages influenced by James Beard Award Winning Chef Link. This session kicks off the Sunday line up at 11:30 a.m. and promises to increase your knowledge of the process, spices and products of this ancient form of meat preservations.
Sara Kavanaugh
Sommelier for the
Windsor Court presents
"Does your nose know?"
At 12:30 p.m., Windsor Court Sommelier Sara Kavanaugh will lead attendees in, “Does your nose know?” where she’ll present 30 different scents commonly found in wine. Explore the fruit and floral scents found in white wines. After you’ve familiarize yourself with the scents, she’ll pull the corks on five bottles of white and train participants to detect those aromas in their glasses.
Tory McPhail of
Commander's Palace will
present Eating with your eyes:
presentation techiniques
that Wow! Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
James Beard Award Nominee and Commander’s Palace Executive Chef Tory McPhail will share his passion for plating techniques and innovation at 1:30 p.m. Sunday –Eating with your eyes: presentation techniques that wow! He’ll discuss why visual presentation is essential to the customer experience. Chef McPhail will be assisted by Louisiana ProStart students who will gain experience and knowledge of plating first hand.

GM for Acme Oyster House
Leslie Thornton with Gunter
and Rotner will inspire you
to create a culture of service.
Getting the best from your staff ambassadors begins at 2:45 p.m. and guest presenters are Acme Oyster House executives Lucien Gunter and Paul Rotner along with Leslie Thornton, general manager of the French Quarter restaurant. Acme’s professional development program has created a culture of service that has earned the company a reputation that diners will literally stand in line for. For restaurateurs looking for motivation and inspiration for training and influencing their staffs, this session is for you!

It’s estimated that nearly 18 million Americans have some degree of gluten sensitivity and there is an opportunity for restaurants to gain loyal customers. At 3:30 p.m., Diane Schaefer, Chair of the Celiac Sprue Support Group of Greater New Orleans will present “Gluten-free: Necessity or Choice?” Restaurants that provide gluten free meal options are highly sought out by those suffering with gluten allergies or intolerance. Schaefer will provide intel on the gluten-free diet for celiacs, the gluten intolerant and those who simply choose the diet.
Chef Haley Bittermann
Restaurant Sustainability
Rounding out the Sunday IDEA ZONE Sessions on Sunday is “Restaurant Sustainability Initiatives” at 4 p.m. You’ll hear from Haley Bittermann, Executive Chef for Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, Johnny Blancher, owner of Ye Olde College Inn and Ann Tuennerman, founder of Tales of the Cocktail. Each has made a concerted effort to reuse, repurpose and recycle in their respective areas of the business.
Johnny Blancher
Restaurant Sustainability
Ann Tuennerman
founder of
Tales of the Cocktail
Event Sustainability
Bittermann is composting prep food waste and exploring wine in kegs to reduce glass bottle waste. Blancher has a one acre garden where he grows vegetables, fruits, herbs and fresh flowers used in the restaurant. Tuennerman measures the success of her five day series of events in garnishes which are also composted. They will provide insight, information and ideas that will certainly inspire you to be kinder to Mother Earth.

Be sure to visit the LRA EXPO online to register, review the list of exhibiting companies and check out the full IDEA ZONE schedule!

Any particular IDEA ZONE session you’re looking forward too?

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