For showgoers seeking to refine their culinary skills or learn from the masters, several signature features at the 2018 Show provide abundant opportunities to accomplish that over the next four days. Most noteworthy is the World Culinary Showcase (Lakeside Center, Booth #10357), a favorite destination for many attendees and a longtime showcase for elite chefs. This year’s roster of culinary mavericks includes, among others, these chefs:
- Rick Bayless, whose four award-winning Chicago restaurants, two quick service brands, retail line of sauces & salsas, and multiple cookbooks have changed the way the United States sees Mexican cooking
- Anne Burrell, host of Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America, cookbook author, and veteran of top New York restaurants
- Masaharu Morimoto, legendary Japanese chef, cookbook author, Iron Chef, and creator of a global portfolio of highly acclaimed restaurants
- Michael Mina, honored as a member of the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage,” whose Mina Group manages more than 30 concepts around the world
- Sarah Grueneberg, award-winning chef/partner of Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio in Chicago’s West Loop
- Barton Seaver, an author and former chef who is now director of the sustainable seafood and health initiative at Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment
- Takashi Yagihashi, whose signature fusion of French, Asian, and American cuisines has delighted diners and critics alike for more than 35 years
- Charles Phan, executive chef and owner of the Slanted Door family of restaurants in San Francisco and a pioneer in popularizing authentic Vietnamese cuisine in the United States
- Joe Flamm, executive chef of Chicago’s Michelin-starred Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia and winner of season 15 of Bravo’s Top Chef
The BAR Stage, located in the Lakeside Center, is the hub of beverage education sessions and mixology demos custom designed for bar professionals. Master mixologists share their perspectives on hospitality, classic cocktails, and the reemergence of brandy. It’s also the venue for the Star of the Bar® Mixology Competition.
Attendees looking to get up to speed on the latest trends and seeking a guided DIY experience should stop by the Foodamental Studio in Booth #2389 in the South Hall. On Saturday and Sunday, they’ll have the chance to practice on-trend techniques for working with charcuterie, sea vegetables, alternative sweeteners and syrups, and locally sourced produce. On Monday after the space will be devoted to tastings of this year’s FABI Award recipients. On Tuesday, leading industry experts will focus on the latest culinary trends and issues.
Other opportunities to explore the newest foodservice products and techniques can be found in the Show’s specialty pavilions, including the Organic and Natural Pavilion (aisles 10100-10800) and Bellavita Italian Pavilion (aisles 8300-9000). And FABI Award recipients, chosen for their potential to change the shape of food and beverage, will be on display throughout the Show floor.
This post is sponsored by The National Restaurant Association®