Ladies and gentlemen, step right up to the big top known as the Los Angeles Convention Center where restaurant supply vendors and suppliers tout the wares restaurant professionals, the media, and curious consumers.
In other words this is the Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo held August 18-20, 2007.
I went to this event several years and it’s the king of grand buffets. You really have to pace yourself. I didn’t learn to do that until the following year in San Francisco.
But back to L.A., I went with three good friends — Chef Annette who has posted on Circle of Food and owns South Bay School of Cooking; Deni who used to design restaurants but now designs websites; and Rachel who is a freelance writer focusing on food.
At first we wandered deliriously through the aisles tasting and talking but eventually we wandered at our own pace and I feared that we would never find each other in this maze of food, drink, and restaurant cleaning supplies.
I cannot remember what was the buzz item that year. I think coffee drinks were just coming on the scene so we all had a raging caffeine buzz.
During the show we pretty much wandered and tasted alone but eventually rendez-vous’d and after tasting hundreds of items all of us remembered one special dessert. It was Cheesecake Momma. The fact that we all raved about the very same item and even spoke highly of it when all we wanted were some carbonated water and anti acids to settle our stomachs was amazing to me.
The following year Deni and I went to the Bay Area and met Mary Jo and Lynn to explore the Western Food Show San Francisco style. Deni and I warned Mary Jo and Lynn to pace themselves. Plus since we were tourists, we wanted to go out to eat afterwards.
That year I cannot remember what was hot — maybe teas were coming into popularity. One of those years was the first time I was introduced to He Brew, the Chosen Beer. I thought that was so clever and still chuckle whenever I see it.
I think everyone should attend one of these food tradeshows in their life but remember — pace yourself.