Norwalk , CT August 2, 2007 — The Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo will once again take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California from August 18-20, 2007.  The Show will welcome more than 15,000 attendees including Owners, Managers, Directors, Buyers, Chefs, Caterers, Dieticians, Foodservice Operators, Menu Planners, Multi-Unit Operators, and Nutritionists to see new products and services from approximately 650 exhibiting companies spanning more than 100,000 square feet.

One of the newest highlights to this year’s event is the launch of the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum with industry experts handpicked by Ferdinand Metz, Master Chef and former head of the Culinary Institute of America for more than 20 years. These sessions will give restaurant owners the keys to all aspects of a successful foodservice business, help uncover hot new trends, increase revenue, loyalty and operational excellence, lower costs, minimize turnover while building winning teams, deliver optimal customer experience, enhance menu, cuisine and profits, minimize risk and legal issues and boost beverage earnings.

Back by popular demand, the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo will once again host “The Hot Spot” Culinary Extravaganza. This state-of-the-art culinary theater will feature celebrity chefs and guest appearances by notable newcomers and industry icons including incredible chefs from BRAVO’s hit TV series Top Chef, Sam Talbot; Mike Midgley and Marisa Churchill; The Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim; Food Network’s Too Hot Tamales Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger; PBS’s Cooking /Travel Series host, Tommy Tang; and Akasha Richmond, Hollywood’s favorite healthy chef.

“This year’s Show will launch several new and exciting features – making it the ‘must attend’ event for the West coast foodservice & hospitality industry.  In addition to the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum and the Hot Spot Culinary Extravaganza there will be many other exciting events taking place including, Pizza Pavilion & Competitions by ROMA®; Innovative New Product Gallery; Consultant Services Center, featuring FCSI Consultants; The Energy Efficient Theatre Kitchen; Thai Cooking Theater; The Wine Grotto; International Tasting Arena; CRAVE the Experience, Sponsored by American Express; Multi Unit Operator Alliance; Healthy Creations With Omega-9 Oils; and the Ultimate Barista Challenge® USA,” said Ron Mathews, Event Director for Reed Exhibitions, producers of the Show. “We hope that attendees will take advantage of all these networking events that can certainly provide terrific business ideas.” 

The California Restaurant Association (CRA), sponsors of the Show, will host CRAVE the Experience Sponsored by American Express on Sunday, August 19, from 8:30 – 11:00 pm at the Union Bank Coral Tree Plaza in Los Angeles.  Tickets to the event are $175 per person and will be available in the CRA Booth #1713 during Show hours on Saturday and Sunday, while supplies last.   In addition, the CRA’s Educational Foundation (CRAEF) will present its Student Showcase and Awards Ceremony in the Hot Spot on Saturday, August 18 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm. 

Jot Condie, President and CEO of the CRA will moderate a session on Trans-Fat and Menu Labeling, two of the biggest issues facing the restaurant industry now and in the future on Saturday, August 18 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm in Room 403. California may soon vote to eliminate trans-fats from restaurants and impose labels on menus. What does this mean for the industry, what are the alternatives and how do restaurants remove trans fats from their menu items without compromising taste? The answers to these questions and many more will be addressed by a panel of leading industry executives.  

In addition, attendees can join Chef Charlie Baggs each day of the Show at noon, 12:45 pm, 1:30 pm and 2:15 pm at the “Healthy Creations with Omega-9 Oils” (Booth #837) demonstration stage as he presents the various restaurant and foodservice applications of Nutra-Clear NT, an Omega-9 Canola Oil. This oil represents the “next generation” of healthier oils because it not only has zero trans fat, but also has the lowest saturated fat among oils and is high in monounsaturated (or “heart-healthy”) fat. Baggs will be sautéing, deep-frying, and offering sampling opportunities of his creations, while also speaking to the natural stability of Omega-9 Oils, which allows for superior performance in demanding foodservice and food manufacturing environments.

ROMA’S Pizza Pavilion & Competitions will serve as the showcase for pizza-related products and services, attracting owners, operators and managers of pizzerias and other restaurant professionals with a significant pizza component from across the United States and other parts of the world. Experience first hand the excitement the pizza business has to offer at The 3rd Annual West Coast Pizza Championships presented by ROMA.  Competitions include “Best Gourmet Pizza,” and the “Best Traditional Pizza” and the newly instituted “Iron Pizza Chef Competition” where contestants will use a wide variety of products to create their own unique pizza from scratch in a one-on-one duel. First place winners of the Traditional and Gourmet Pizza Competition will go on to compete in regional championships earning an opportunity to compete in the World Pizza Championships in Salsomaggiore, Italy.

Returning to the Show is The Ultimate Barista Challenge® USA taking place on the exhibition floor in a show of coffee creativity flaring, as baristi prepare their own inspired espresso beverages for a panel of discerning judges each day of the Show. This will delight audience members in a showdown of three flights of espresso frappe, espresso cocktails, beautiful café latte art and finding the definitive Ultimate Barista!  The Ultimate Barista Challenge® USA is organized by Whole Cup Coffee Consulting. 

Thai Cooking Theater hosted by The Royal Thai Government and Chef Tommy Tang, in conjunction with Thailand’s Department of Export Promotion invite attendees to celebrate the official name of Thailand’s famous pure jasmine rice to Thai Hom Mali Rice (“fragrance of pure Jasmine”) at the Show. Samples and information on how to prepare perfect rice will be available, along with experts to help identify the true fragrance, texture and taste of pure Thai Hom Mali Rice.  Learn from celebrity chef and restaurateur Tommy Tang how to prepare Thai Hom Mali Rice in traditional and innovative ways.

At The Wine Grotto attendees can sample selections from dozens of wineries conveniently gathered right on the Show floor.  Full access to the Wine Grotto is included in the “Exhibit Plus” pass. Meet with winery principals, distributors and experts who will share secrets on building profitable wine lists, promoting special selections and pairings.

At the International Tasting Arena restaurant owners can find new ways to spice up menus with exotic flavors and imported specialty items. This feature area on the Show floor provides a multitude of tasting opportunities and introductions into products newly imported into the US.  In addition, meet with product creators and distributors without having to leave the state.

There will also be a variety of consulting services available at the Show provided by Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) and the California Restaurant Association. Here restaurant owners can find tips on what to look for when opening a new restaurant, refreshing a current location, and how to reduce costs and improve quality.

The Multi Unit Operator Alliance will also have a presence on the Show floor and is designed to deliver business solutions that meet the specific needs and business challenges of the Multi Unit Operator. The Alliance supports organizations of all sizes, 3 units or 3,000 units.

Returning to the conference lineup this year are three paid sessions presented by The Barfly Group, expert consultants to the industry.  The first seminar, Restaurant Rookie Boot Camp is a highly energized session jam packed with a day of learning. Developed for new restaurant operators, the seminar will focus on tricks of the trade that are typically learned through years of enrollment in the “School of Hard Knocks.”  The second seminar, Profit and Loss Management 101: Understanding and Controlling the Numbers will offer participants a complete understanding of restaurant Profit and Loss Statements. Attendees can expect to learn and understand where the numbers come from, how they populate into an organized statement and how to get a firm grasp on what they mean.  The third seminar is What’s the Trend? Learn what the trends are, where to get information about them, and how best to meet them head on.  Pre-registration and additional fees are required for each Barfly session.

Registration is now available online at; the “Exhibits Plus” fee to attend is $50.  The 2007 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo will be held Saturday, August 18, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday, August 19, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm and Monday, August 20, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.  The Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo is organized by Reed Exhibitions, and sponsored by the California Restaurant Association.  For more information, please call 800-840-5612 or visit the website at

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