NORWALK, CT, August 27, 2007 – The Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum is pleased to announce that the former White House Executive Chef, Walter Scheib, and Ralph Brennan, Owner of the Brennan Restaurant Group will both be keynote speakers during the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show taking place September 7-9 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. 
Walter Scheib, “The American Chef” will discuss “Serving at the Pleasure of the Presidents” on Friday, September 7 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm.  Scheib was White House Executive Chef for two of America’s First Families and has dazzled and delighted world leaders, congressional members, journalists and other House visitors.  Walter Scheib has quite a story to tell. In fact, he has two stories to tell. The first involves the rise of an American chef to the most storied position in the land. The second offers an intimate, human view of two First Families, the corridors of political power, international personalities, and the most famous building in the United States, from a unique vantage point: The kitchen.
In April 1994, after a lengthy application and screening process, Walter Scheib became the chef to America’s chief executive and the First Family. First Lady Hillary Clinton, impressed by the comprehensive spa menu Scheib had developed for the Greenbrier resort, as well as his highlighting of American cuisine, personally hired Scheib. For 11 years, he prepared everything from simple family meals to elaborate and formal State Dinners. His culinary creations dazzled and delighted White House guests including Nelson Mandela, Emperor Aikihito, Jacques Chirac, Boris Yeltsin, Vaclav Havel, Lady Diana Spencer, Tony Blair, Vicente Fox, and others, not to mention the thousands of congressional members, journalists, and other House visitors who got to know his food.
New Orleans restaurant legend Ralph Brennan will speak on Saturday, September 8 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm presenting “Rising Tide: The Rebirth of the New Orleans Restaurant and Foodservice Industry.”  Ralph Brennan entered the family business in the early 1980’s and today Ralph Brennan and his cousins run twelve New Orleans-style restaurants, nine of which are located in New Orleans. Ralph Brennan is the owner and operator of Red Fish Grill and BACCO in the New Orleans French Quarter, Ralph’s on the Park in Mid-City New Orleans, and the Jazz Kitchen located in the Downtown Disney® District at the DISNEYLAND® Resort. Ralph is a co-owner of Mr. B’s Bistro, Commander’s Palace and Brennan’s of Houston.

A food service industry advocate, Ralph Brennan served as the 1995-1996 Chairman and President of the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the largest trade group representing the foodservice industry. An NRA Director since 1984, Brennan also served the National Restaurant Association as the 2000 – 2001 Chairman of its Educational Foundation. In 1997, The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association honored Ralph Brennan with its highest honor, the prestigious Gold Plate Operator of the Year Award. In 2004, The Florida International University School of Hospitality and Tourism honored Ralph’s contributions to the foodservice industry with the Michael E. Hurst Distinguished Hospitality Leader Award, in 2005 The National Restaurant Association inducted Ralph into its College of Diplomates for this commitment to Education.

A local leader and friend of business and tourism, Ralph Brennan is Past President of the Louisiana Restaurant Association and the New Orleans Restaurant Association. He was named Active Member of the Year by both organizations in 1989 and was named the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Restaurateur of the Year in 1999. Additionally, Ralph Brennan served as Chairman of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center from 1996 – 2005, and currently serves on the Board of Directors as Secretary. He has served since 1996 on the New Orleans Aviation Board, which is entrusted with the administration and operation of New Orleans International Airport.
There will be two dozen educational sessions focusing on various topics including Protect Yourself from Employee Theft; Is This Really Grouper? All You Need to Know about Seafood Substitution and the Consequences; Innovative Marketing and Customer Solutions for your Restaurant; 2007 Lodging Industry Summit: 2008 and Beyond; Healthy Customers, Healthy Profits; Increase your Profits with a Focused HR Strategy; How Florida’s Hospitality Industry Can Save Money while Protecting the Environment; Publicity and Promotions: Guaranteed Strategies to Build Exposure and Buzz about your Restaurant; Using Technology to Build Profits and Win Customers; Restaurants & Institutions Magazine Restaurant Executive Round Table – Leading Industry Executives Discuss the Hottest Topics; Successful Restaurant Marketing is NOT an Accident: Implementing the SIX Principles of Entrée Marketing®; MENUS: A Profits Approach; ECO-Lighting: Saving Money and the Planet while Building Your Customer Base; Making the Leap: Secrets for Managers to be Better Managers; Menu Pricing, Getting it Right; Trans-Fat, Alcohol Training and the Biggest Issues Facing Your Restaurant Now and in the Future; How to Recruit, Hire and Keep the Best Manager Candidate; The Future of the Industry: Where Today’s Trends are Taking Us Tomorrow. Visit for the most up-to-date schedule.
In addition to the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum, the 14,000+ foodservice industry professionals are expected to attend the Show will experience everything from PMQ’s Orlando Pizza Show; the Ultimate Barista Challenge® USA; Consultant Services Center, featuring FCSI Consultants; Innovative New Product Gallery; the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Celebrity Golf Tournament; the Gordon Foodservice Demo Theater; World Class Culinary Competitions and Chef’s Table Luncheons.
Florida’s Salute to Excellence Awards Luncheon takes place on Saturday, September 8, 2007 at 11:30 am in Room W304 at the Orange County Convention Center. The luncheon features the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show’s Keynote address to be delivered by Holly Benson, Florida’s Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).  Secretary Benson’s department is one of Florida’s largest and is the chief regulator of the hospitality industry. In addition to the keynote address, the Salute luncheon will honor more than 70 outstanding ProStart, Lodging Management and other postsecondary hospitality students from around the state. More than $50,000 in scholarship funds will be awarded. 
In addition, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association will also host a Celebrity Golf Tournament on Wednesday, September 5th at 10:00 am at the Champions Gates Golf Course in Orlando.  The 2007 FRLA Show Gala and Southern Wine & Spirits Party will take place on Friday, September 7 at 7:30 pm at Hard Rock Live.  More than 800 industry professionals will attend for the biggest networking cocktail  party filled with music, dancing and food. This year’s theme will be Pirates and the FRLA will honor Gene Knippers from Family Sports Concepts/Beef ‘O’ Brady’s as this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Winner. AmeriGas will be honored as the 2007 Supplier of the Year.
Registration is now available online at; the fee to attend is $30 until August 3 and $50 there after.  Admission to the Keynotes and the education offered at the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum is included in the “Exhibits Plus” pass. The 2007 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show will be held Friday, September 7, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday, September 8, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Sunday, September 9, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show is organized by Reed Exhibitions, and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.  For more information, please call 888-372-3976 or visit