Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo 2011



Anyone who has ever gone to an interest or industry-specific convention can tell you how crazy they can be. There are so many people, so many products, so, so much. But even then, I wasn’t quite prepared for the madness of the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo a couple of weeks back in San Diego. I went because I was attending the Chefs vs Bloggers panel as sponsored by Brad Metzger Restaurant Solutions. We started off with a tricky lunch (how much to tip?) and afterward hit up a couple of places for drinks then sushi.

do you need chairs for your restaurant?

what about take-out containers and disposable coffee cups?

When we first got there, we had some time before the panel. I told my friend I usually like to walk the perimeter then zig zag back and forth through the aisles. I quickly sorted out this show had some nifty stuff I needed to investigate further. Namely, food and beverage samples. The sushi and foie gras alone was worth the drive from LA to San Diego.

crazy cuizine

instant curry?

hmmm, curry

I did wonder about the prepared food products. Were these to be sold to restaurants?

clam chowder

Or like this clam chowder…does this go to a restaurant? I guess so!

wine tasting

cider from Stone Brewery

Taiwanese whiskey


I took quite a lot of “breaks” at the beer garden, wine tasting area and even hit up some tequila and whiskey booths.


please teach the booth babes about their products

buy guacamole for your restaurant!

I was suitably impressed by the Mexican corridor of products. There were pre-made guacamole, spices and much much more. I should have stayed to watch the cooking demo with beef and mezcal but I was still trying to see everything.


buy big blocks of salt for a lovely presentation

bacon and eggs chef shoes

get a shot of fruit!

I loved this booth. I thought it was so hilarious. “Get a shot of fruit in your cocktail.” Okay.

sushi fish

hamachi ceviche with squash


We watched a couple of demos over at the land fish farming booth. Yum, delicious fish!


This booth said you can use their mini lettuce as soup bowls. Gazpacho anyone?

Hudson Valley Farm - fine purveyors of foie gras

Hudson Valley Farm foie gras


As mentioned, I probably had the most fun getting samples of sushi and foie gras. Over at the Hudson Valley Farm booth, they were asking people to sign the petition to overturn the California law that bans foie gras in July 2012. They showed how their ducks are free range and not caged. And you know what? Their foie was delicious. Very firm, very unctuous.

For more pictures from the show, check out my flickr set.

I can’t wait for them to come back to LA next year.

Western Foodservice and Hospitality Expo