Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Gulf Coast's premier restaurant show opens Saturday

New Orleans is home to great restaurants, exciting attractions and beautiful hotels and this weekend, the city plays hostess to restaurateurs, hoteliers and service companies in town from near and far.
Special guest to open the
Louisiana Foodservice EXPO
is Roz Mallet, the
first African American woman
to chair the National Restaurant
Every August, the restaurant and hospitality industry heads to the Big Easy for a weekend of business and pleasure for the Louisiana Foodservice and Hospitality EXPO.

Joined this year by special guest, Roz Mallet, National Restaurant Association Chairwoman, the 59th EXPO, or the LRA show as it’s commonly referred to, kicks off Saturday, August 11 at 10:45 a.m. at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.

As thousands from the industry usher in another EXPO, several hundred companies will be waiting to greet them and share products, services, innovations and ideas as the three-day show gets underway.

Stan Harris, President/CEO of the
LRA and former restaurateur shares
the value of attending the 59th
Annual Louisiana Foodservice &
Hospitality EXPO.
“There’s a lot to see and learn at the EXPO and I recommend attending for more than one day,” said Stan HarrisLouisiana Restaurant Association President/CEO. “With more than 400 companies, 67 of them new exhibitors, even if you’ve attended in the past, this is a new EXPO.”

One of the new features of the EXPO is the IDEA ZONE, a series of express sessions, most of which only last 30 to 45 minutes. This provides attendees with an educational reprieve from walking the show and take away tips and techniques to help them become more profitable in their operations.

“I’m particularly excited about the Fish of the Gulf session with Chef Brian Landry and the Charcuterie Showdown with Cochon Butcher’s Ian Barrilleaux. The wine aromas class with the Windsor Court’s sommelier Sara Kavanaugh should draw a great crowd too,” said Harris. “With a lineup that runs the gamut from the science and secrets of selecting and cooking rice to hearing from one of New Orleans’ most notable chefs on plating techniques that wow, and many others, the IDEA ZONE has something for every restaurateur.”
The Louisiana Restaurant Association booth design mirrors
that of an art gallery, staying true to the EXPO,
"Art of Hospitality," theme. Images featured are courtesy
of award-winning photographer David Gallent.
The LRA booth has been relocated to the head of the 1300 aisle and designed to resemble an art gallery, staying true to the show’s theme the “Art of Hospitality.” Included in the LRA booth are ServSafe, the LRA Workers’ Comp program and Office Depot.

Another feature of the EXPO is the addition of a hospitality suite on the show floor in the form of a tour bus. Under the title of “PAC the Bus,” contributors to the NRA Political Action Committee will have access to the amenities of the bus—libations and cuisine—during EXPO hours.

On Saturday, the Great American Seafood Cook off will determine the King or Queen of American Seafood and in Louisiana, we are rooting for Keith and Nealy Frentz from Covington’s Lola Restaurant. In its 9th year, the goal of the Cook-Off is to promote the use of domestic seafood, which in Louisiana, we realize is vitally important to the economy.

If you are in the restaurant or hospitality business, can you really afford to miss this show? Shopping hundreds of companies on your own would take a lifetime. The LRA offers it to you all under one roof!

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