The Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo is an annual conference which caters to food service suppliers and restaurants. It was held August 12-14 in the Anaheim Convention Center. Our correspondent, Bryan, had an opportunity to attend the conference to report on the latest in food trends. Read on for details…
In order to ensure that I covered the entire expo floor, I decided to traverse each aisle from the south wall to the north side of the Convention Center.
I started out in the Expo Comida Latina which was a dedicated section within the expo. This area focused on the Hispanic food service suppliers. While the salsas were muy delisiosas, my mouth was eventually on fire and I needed something to offset the heat.
I found my oasis with the Santos Sangria booth. I expected to find the traditional red sangria and was surprised to see a white sangria offering. I sampled the red sangria and felt that it was both fruity (as you would expect), very smooth and had no after taste. After tasting the wine, I felt it was appropriate for outdoor summer parties as well as Spanish tapas (small plates). Santos Sangria may be found at Total Wine in the South Bay Marketplace located in Redondo Beach.
Until my recent trip to Wisconsin, I was never a huge fan of cheese. Visiting the Los Altos booth was a pleasant surprise and reaffirmed my desire for quality cheese. They offer a very good selection of fresh Hispanic cheese. Further their products do not have any preservatives. I’ve only had packaged Cacique cheese and Los Altos’ cheese knocked it out of the park for me. It was very fresh and soft and full of flavor. While you can imagine using Hispanic cheese on tacos and tostadas, I thought some of their cheese would pair quite nicely with wine.
In the food trends section of the show floor, I enjoyed the veggie burger patties from Chez Gourmet. Their WOW mushroom burgers were very tasty and it surprised me that I didn’t miss having meat inside of the bun. They suggest using basil aioli to enhance the experience. I found out later that Chez Gourmet mushroom burgers may be found at Whole Foods Market.
Also in that area Cotton Candy was pouring their Cotton Candy Liqueur. Many, including yours truly, was a bit afraid to try something that might taste like cotton candy, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was something that might go well as a mixer. The pourer suggested making a mimosa out of that using a dry champagne. It was too bad that I didn’t get to sample that creation. Cotton Candy liqueur is available at Bev Mo on Hawthorne Blvd in Torrance.
For anyone in the food services industry, this is a must attend conference. At this expo, you’ll have an opportunity to talk to vendors that can help take your business to the next level.