Of the many events I have attended at the Javits Center, the one that really stirs the juices is the Fancy Food Show. A phantasmagoria of every style of condiment, sauce, chocolate bars and various packaged smoked salmons among the many foods sampled there, the Summer Fancy Food Show provides an incredible education for any journalist or professional foodie in the edible delights of a region or a country. The show takes over the NYC's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center June 27 – 29, 2010.
On the primary show floor, pavilions from countries such as France or Spain, or international distributors dominate and one can taste every variety of olive oil or pasta possible while sampling some new soda concoction or organic food phenomenon.
As the largest marketplace for specialty food in North America, this event showcases food trends as they become packaged, frozen or dried, this show reflects also the growing inclination towards the organic and sustainable -- all a good thing in this word of the artificial and chemicalized. This show is for those who want the best and the brightest and can get a chance to taste it.
To quote their own literature: "Since 1955, the Fancy Food Shows have been North America’s largest specialty food and beverage marketplace. Between the Winter Show in San Francisco and the Summer Show in New York City, the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade events bring in more than 40,000 attendees from more than 80 countries to see 260,000 innovative specialty food products, such as confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, ethnic, natural, organic and more.
The NASFT is a not-for-profit trade association established in 1952 to foster commerce and interest in the specialty food industry. Today there are more than 2,900 member companies in the U.S. and abroad.
Only NASFT Members can exhibit at the Shows, where retailers, restaurateurs, distributors and others discover innovative, new food and beverage products. The Shows are attended by every major food buying channel, influential members of the trade and consumer press and other related businesses."
In addition to the two show floors, NASFT has scheduled the gala sofi™ Awards ceremony to take place tonight at the 56th Summer Show with internationally recognized executive chef Dan Barber to keynote
The sofi Awards recognize excellence in specialty foods and beverages in 33 categories and are considered the top honor in the $60 billion specialty food industry. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation.
The awards are the highlight of the Show, and Barber, a prominent figure in the artisan and local food movement, was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2009. He co-owns the restaurants Blue Hill in New York City and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., and is a board member of the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture.
In honor of Barber's appearance at the sofi Awards, NASFT will donate his speaking fee to City Harvest, New York’s only food rescue program and the Fancy Food Show’s charity of choice for the past 20 years, and to the Stone Barns Center.
Barber is a member of City Harvest’s Food Council. Since 2007 alone, exhibitors at the Summer Fancy Food Show have donated more than half a million pounds of high-quality food to City Harvest, enough to fill 13 tractor trailers. The show donation has long been the largest single donation of perishable food to City Harvest each year.
The sofi Awards will be presented June 28, 2010, at 5 p.m. at the Javits Center.
For more information and to purchase tickets, goto www.fancyfoodshows.com/attend.
The Fancy Food Show is a trade event open to members of the specialty food trade only.
For more information on the NASFT and its Fancy Food Shows, go to www.specialtyfood.com.