After two years in Washington DC, the show moved back to its home in the renovated Javits Convention Center. We made the pilgrimage north to attend. It was totally worth it.
The floor was full of exhibitors, there were after-hours events, and panels (especially one called “Chop, Chat and Charm”) were especially interesting. There was one disappointment, in that the Italy pavilion didn’t have a demo kitchen this year, but there were lots of features in other country’s establishments to compensate.
Two were right next to each other on the show floor. Germany had a kitchen with demos scheduled throughout the show, with happy chefs delighted to cook and chat. It was just one part of the larger German presence.
Morocco, surprisingly for a small country, had a big spread (both food and real estate)! Everyone there was happy to talk about their food, and they and their pavilion were candidates for Most Colorful Entry.
This is not to say that Italy was outclassed. There were rows of Italian food booths, each sponsored by a different importer. Cheese, Parma ham and other cured meats, and olive oil dominated, but the presence of truffles was duly noted. Funny, nobody was offering samples of truffles.
Italian-influenced food and importers of European products were also there in force. Marky’s had an especially impressive presence, with sampling and a chef on hand.
D’Artagnon had their own exclusive version of ham – Mangalica from Spain. Oh, and truffles!
And Washington, DC’s own celebrity chef, Jose Andres, had a line of imported products from his native Spain on display.
Roland, another big importer, had Virginia Willis as their big draw. Well, they also had a display and sampling of their wonderful variety of foods, but a famous chef is a big attraction for yours truly!
Then there were the sweets. A tapioca maker had an eye-catching display of a giant inflatable bubble-tea cup. Trust me, it was more impressive in real time than a still photo, with the balloons in motion!
Sweet Shop USA showed their specialties, including handmade chocolate shoes.
And the Polish importers showed off the impressive cake that I remembered from last year’s Polish-sponsored party.
There was lots more going on, of course, but these were my best pictures!
Stay tuned for Part 2: Events Off The Floor.