This colossal expo, brought to us by Reed Exhibitions, is one of the places that I’ve always found so many wonderful products to highlight on my show. It’s now held every other year at the Los Angeles Convention Center, alternating with a venue in San Diego. I never seem to have time to spend any place other than LA and New York, so I missed last year’s go-round in San Diego. Happily, this year I was able to spend some time there on all three days.

We could do a "Where's Waldo" of me on the convention floor, but I think there are way better uses of your time!

This convention is a must, in my opinion, for all restaurant owners and staff. (It’s not open to the public.) I’m always impressed with owners I bump into at the show, including Fred Deni and Jim Crystal from Back On Broadway and Back On The Beach and Craig Martin from WLA’s Café 50s. It shows me that these guys really want to keep-up with all the innovations in the foodservice industry, which I applaud.

This year seemed to be heavy on Mexican and Asian products, and I can’t wait to try out the Mexican Hot Chocolate that I was taught how to make. I’m just waiting for the thermometer to finally dip below 70.

I discovered many new items to tell you about in future columns. I’ll get my Reviewing Panel working on several of them, and bring you results in the appropriate places (such as holiday ideas, a special dining column, etc.) But now I have to go check the temperature outside, hoping that it’s finally hot beverage weather.




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