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The Buzz at this year’s NRA Show in Chicago

Posted on 9th June 2009 in Events, Industry News
Written by: Fiona Rickard

For those like me who were unable to make the trip across the pond to the famous National Restaurant Show this year here’s the hot topics that everyone is talking about….

A term widely used that does not necessarily mean local or organic but it can and often does mean both. What it does mean is restaurants being able to say where their food came from—not just the region, but perhaps even the farm or orchard or river. Knowing how it grew, how it was treated. In other words, the antithesis of factory farming, where you really don’t want to know how your food got to your plate.

Artisanal. Breads, cheeses, teas, jams… homemade, handmade versions of these have been around forever. But now there’s a name that elevates the process of making things by hand, in small, controlled batches, with natural ingredients and traditional, time-honored methods.

Green.We’re all rather “Green Fatigued” but this is still hot news at the show. The most interesting, most ubiquitous new green product—and the one most likely to trickle down to home cooks first—was biobased dinnerware and serving pieces. Not recycled or recyclable – these things actually return to the earth. And they don’t just decompose. You can actually add them to your compost, where they will provide nutrients for future plants. Depending on the company, their plates, trays and other food containers are made from bamboo, sugar cane, corn and even potatoes. One company, EATware, is a good example.

So that saved us all an air fare then!!!