Extremely short notice, but I'll be cooking with The Ghetto Gourmet again tomorrow night. There's still tickets available if you're interested in checking it out. It would be great to see some of your faces.
I spent the day fumbling through the NRA Show at McCormick Place. That's "National Restaurant Association" to your non-food service industry folks, so disregard those thoughts of AK47s and holsters.
The NRA Show is one of the largest trade shows held in America. It encompasses anything and everything you might need to run a food service business, and many things that you would never ever need. From stemware to industrial fryers, chef's coats to soda fountains, the NRA show allows exhibitors to display their wares, cuisines, and products. There are lectures and demonstrations, cookbook signings, and a whole lot of food and beverage samples.
I was advised to go on an empty stomach. Within a couple of hours I was stuffed. I remember eating Greek yogurt with honey, a huge meatball, a couple different kinds of cheesecake, some kind of panini, some other kind of wrap, a chocolate chip cookie, Cavendish french fries, green and yellow wax beans, popcorn with some weird mesquite barbecue flavor that came out of a hairspray bottle, hickory-smoked bacon, and a whole lot of other junk. If I had had a bit more time, I probably could have tracked down an entire Thanksgiving dinner.
Coca Cola's booth was swarming with people. They had a robot as part of their display. I forget it's name, but it was actually pretty amazing. You could ask the robot anything and it had an intelligent answer. I overheard someone ask it who would win the 2008 Presidential election, and it replied with "The candidate with the most money. Ha ha ha. No, the candidate with the most electoral votes will win." I sampled the new Diet Coke Plus, which is fortified with vitamins and minerals. It tastes a bit like licking a rock. I don't recommend it.
I saw a chef doing a very intricate sugar showpiece, which always amazes me. I also saw a blender so powerful that it was making powder out of golf balls. Several culinary teams from different nations presented their gorgeous competition plates. There was also a couple of bowling lanes set up, although I'm not sure how that fits into the mix. A woman was walking around in a dress made up of plastic swipe cards held together with chain mail (she was nearly naked).
I've just realized that this entry is all over the place. In actuality, it mirrors the NRA show. Organization is minimal, McCormick Place staff is clueless, and forget about even trying to map out a plan of attack. It's better to wander aimlessly and enjoy what you happen to come across. There is so much to consume, with the eyes, ears, and mouth. The vastness of it all is pure entertainment, and really, isn't that what the restaurant business is all about?
Thanks Miss Diana for the opportunity to go to the show!