Tag cheese

San Francisco Event Recap: Winter Fancy Food Show 2011

Today was the last day for the Winter Fancy Food Show. Held in San Francisco’s Moscone Center, exhibitors came from all over the world to display their latest and greatest food products, though only National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) members can do so. The show takes place over 4 days, with educational and informational events for those in the food industry scattered throughout.

With more than 1,300 exhibitors and 17,000 retailers, distributors and food service pros attending, over stimulation comes easily. This was my first year attending the Fancy Food Show, and I must say, it pays to have a seasoned guide! Fortunately, maps of the floor plan are available for those who like to have a plan of attack (and don’t mind looking like a tourist/ high school freshman). Thanks to these tips, we made it through the entire arena in less than 4 hours!

Don’t eat breakfast. Doors open at 10am, and many exhibitors are already waiting with samples.
Be picky. There are so many food samples calling your name that one must learn to discriminate quickly. You wouldn’t want to find yourself too full to try the ONE thing you’ve always wanted to try!
Keep moving. Breaks are great, and sometimes necessary, but you’ll lose quite a bit of time waiting to get a picture with
Ina Garten
or Duff Goldman.
Drink water. Take advantage of the strategically placed water stations. Yes, there are countless samples of every kind of thirst quencher, but water guarantees that you won’t be dehydrated!

Cheeses, cured meats, teas and CHOCOLATES are expected. Surprisingly delicious items included Plush Puffs gourmet maple-bacon marshmallows, Julian’s Recipe Belgian waffles, and any kind of goat’s milk ice cream I could get my hands on (no surprise there).

Miso mac n cheese, A Tavola Together’s 5 Minute Focaccia Mix and Tabasco’s Spicy Chocolates all stirred up quite a crowd. One noticeable trend was coconut and aloe waters. I left with more than just a couple samples of exotic water.

Though I may have been drawn to the guilt-inducing foods, there was an abundance of health-oriented products this year. Gluten-free items, organic foods and low calorie snacks were everywhere!  This progression reflects the world’s increasing demand for health-conscious food options –definitely a good thing. I cannot wait to see which products make it big in 2011!

All-Star Vendors Spice Up PTC Customer Appreciation Event!

This past Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending – well, working –the Parties That Cook Customer Appreciation Event. I must say, it was SO much fun! Watching our guests meet and mingle was entertaining, and it was great to be able to meet some of our loyal customers and biggest fans.

In addition to our FUN cooking portion of the event, we added an extra special touch to the evening. Upon arrival, guests had the ability to explore and sample treats from a variety of vendors. Who wouldn’t love on-site beer brewing from San Francisco based Pacific Brewing Laboratories, and a cheese demonstration from Artisan Food School?

The wine tasting provided by Duckhorn Wine Company was a big hit as guests enjoyed select red and white wines throughout the evening. For those who preferred drinks of the non-alcoholic variety, thirsts were quenched by fresh roasted coffee from Ritual Coffee Roasters and Lorraine Ottens’ unique sodas from Drinkwell Softers.
With a constant swarm around its table, it was obvious that guests were intrigued by the exotic gourmet chocolates from Coco Delice! My favorite, Forais, is a dark chocolate ganache with organic sea salt and caramel. Yumm! Schirts even had its own table, offering free American Apparel t-shirts customized with the Parties That Cook logo. I made sure to snag one, and now find myself donning PTC gear all over the city!

All in all, I hope everyone enjoyed themselves at the Customer Appreciation Event. Though from the smiles seen and laughs heard, I have a strong feeling they did.