[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York – AKA, the NY Restaurant Show – is the only event in New York exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry. My wife Gladys and I have covered this show for the last 6 years and we have watched it evolve over the years. This year as in the past it was held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center and ran from March 6-8, 2012.
Although the show has become a bit more compact in size, it is certainly not losing its appeal. At one time it was a trade only show and now we see that anyone that can pay $65 for this three day event can attend. This year we saw over 550 vendors displaying their products and offering visitors a taste of their finest products. Unlike many other consumer shows where they might give you a small spoon filled with some ice cream or other treat, one can be sure to get their fill of delicious food and drink products at this show.
From Sushi to Salami, it is all here at the show and our favorites are always the baked goods. I personally love the bakeries we have in New York. After all they say the best breads come from New York, because of the water we have here. Whatever the reason, we love the baked goods at the show and I love the pretzel breads from Tom Cat Bakery in Long Island City, NY.
Tom Cat supplies many of New York’s Four Star restaurants and its most famous hotels and is also used at leading sandwich chains and sold at some of the tri-state area’s premier retailers. They offer a vast range of products- baguettes, rolls, sliced breads, batards — more than 400 different breads and sweets every day.
Now Tom Cat is certainly not alone. We also love the great cakes and breads from D&R Central Bakery in Brooklyn, who still hasn’t put up their website yet even though each year I keep telling them it is a must. You can however visit a static page on their site that will give you their contact information. Two brothers run this company and they do a great job at it. No wonder they don’t have time to work on a website, they are busy supplying their wonderful cupcakes and other items to the New York restaurants.
Now this year something new was introduced to the show, the Front of House Experience. The Front of House Experience had 5 unique sets including: dining room, lounge, and bar displays…All featuring the latest designs, colors, and product options. Everything from tables, chairs, couches, lighting, table top displays, and multiple décor solutions.
Not only was their great food at the show, but lots of fine restaurant quality equipment like the $1,300, twenty-one piece knife set from Hammer Stahl Cutlery. These are not just knives, they are truly works of art suitable for framing and display. You will see a demonstration on our video of these knives. Now let me see, if I sell my stamp collection, I could purchase one of their sets. Check them out at their website and all come with Lifetime Warranties, but we wouldn’t expect less.
If you walked in hungry it would only take a few minutes to get rid of those hunger pangs, especially if you visited the Pizza area where we like to visit Marsal & Sons baking the most delicious New York Style pizzas. There is always a line there to get a sample of the fresh hot pizza coming out of their ovens. Unfortunately they didn’t have any pies to go or we would have ordered one. Watch a mini Italian opera in our video too.
Now there were tons of other companies we visited, but I promised myself I would keep this article short and reply on the video to give you the story, in words and images from the floor of the show. You will of course see some of the companies we thought had interesting or exciting products, the U.S. Pastry Competition that is held each year and companies that even help our environment like Green Works Holding a company that produces renewable fuel from biomass and other organic wastes.
Through their AROSE division, they will actually collect and recycle all of the old cooking oil from restaurants into a fuel source. and sell it to factories who will not only save money over fossil fuel, but make sure that old, used and dirty oil isn’t going to end up as cattle feed. Yes, they feed the cattle we eat this sluggy mix of oils that have fried everything imaginable…Yuck!
AROSE (the Association for Restaurant Owners for a Sustainable Earth) is like a restaurant environmental action group, constantly initiating unique programs, savings and services exclusively for our members. With 9,000+ restaurant members in 7+ states, we collect in excess of 6 million gallons of used cooking oil every year – and our members average $300 – $20,000 worth of rewards in return, per year.
Other cool companies include Red Jack Orchards from Geneva, New York who’s variety of juices was simply wonderful to Restaurant Depot, who we are going to shop soon. This company is the Restaurants Costco, with a wide array of food and other products for the restaurant and food services industry but they told me anyone who owns a business could join…mmm, even IPA. Now I have to make sure I don’t buy those huge bags of produce or the sides of beef I am sure they sell. I am such a sucker for a bargain, maybe I will stay with Costco only now, but I am tempted.
To find out more about the show and the hundreds of exhibitors visit their website and view the Exhibitor Listing which has them all and links to their websites.
We had a wonderful, but alas tiring time at the show and now that it was a consumer and trade show at times it was a bit difficult to navigate through the narrow isles. I am not complaining because this show is simply one of the best to visit for anyone interested in great food.