My month began with a fabulous foodist event in SoHo. On Sunday, 1 April, over 100 exhibitors strutted their stuff at the Culinary Expo and Book & Blog Festival, part of a five-day conference celebrating "The Fashion of Food" by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. The 2012 installment marked the 34th anniversary of the IACP conference.
So much food and only four hours! Not wishing to resurrect ancient Roman rituals, I refrained from sampling everything (though I was tempted). Below are some of the highlights.
Roelli Cheese Haus's shelf-cured Red Rock
Carr Valley's Caso Bolo Mellage
Sartori's Pastorale Blend
Back in my SoHo days, it was called The French Culinary Institute. Since that time, the school has expanded and broadened its scope to become The International Culinary Center. Sampling their innovative Gazpacho evoked memories of dining at FCI's L'Ecole restaurant. This unusual preparation comprised Greek yogurt, grapes, cucumbers, almonds, white bread, pickled shrimp, smoked paprika, olive oil, and sherry vinegar.
A few of the big names were on hand to demonstrate their wares.
Cuisinart's new Griddler turned out some tasty Reubens.
And, a little jolt to cure one's illys …
What more is there to say about this familiar name in the coffee world?
Or is Runa's guayusa more your cup of tea? Made from a native Amazonian tree leaf, brewed guayusa packs more caffeine and twice the antioxidants of any other tea.
Strategically situated at the adjacent booth, Alaska Seafood served savory salmon sliders with Asian slaw that I spiced up with Kikkoman's Wasabi Sauce. This was one of the highlights of the festival.
From Berkeley, California, Diane Lee's 7th Taste infused olive oils contain no extracts or artificial flavorings. Smooth and tasty!
"The chef's in the jar" with these hand-harvested, artisanal salts from Chef Salt.
Nueske's applewood-smoked meats were a pleasant discovery.
With the recent addition of wild cherrywood-smoked bacon to their lineup, what's not to love?
Don't forget the California veggies. Let there be no confusion with regard to the proper pronunciation of endive.
I am not now, nor do I plan to ever be, a vegan. Nevertheless, these samples from Ella Nemcova's The Regal Vegan were quite alluring. Best of all, at 50 calories, a one-ounce serving of the delectable Faux Gras walnut-lentil pâté contains only three grams of fat. A guiltless pleasure!
Pâté certainly pairs well with wine. While there was no Sauternes in sight, there were a few sippable vinos from Brooklyn Oenology.
From fermented grapes to carbonated ginger. Fresh Ginger, Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost is a refreshing alternative to mainstream sodas. Unfiltered, and made with fresh ginger, this sparkling soft drink is as aptly named as it is delicious. Other flavors include Jasmine Green Tea, Pomegranate (with Hibiscus), and Passion Fruit (with Turmeric).
A few more cheeses …
Kerrygold's Aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey (left) and Dubliner (right)
Lucy's Whey offered several artisanal curds, including Capriole's Sofia (an ash-ripened chèvre), Consider Bardwell Farm's Pawlet, (a Vermont version of Toma), Vermont Creamery's Cremont (a cheese of blended goat's and cow's milk), and Jasper Hill Farm's Winnimere.
I tried to save the sweets for last, but, sadly, I had reached my capacity before I could sample them. They certainly looked good!
It was delightful to see a couple of familiar names and faces from the QEDC Entrepreneur Space.
Uliana and Maria of Santé Bakery
Comestiblog wishes to extend special thanks to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
IACP Culinary Expo and Book & Blog Festival
82 Mercer Street, SoHo, Manhattan (map)