Noteable were the Montreal Celebrity Chefs in attendance with products and demos such as Chuck Hughes, Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione. The lone Torontonian was the eclectic Matty Matheson who is also involved in the show The Bear.
I haven't been to the show for a few years so there were a few notable differences.
The presentations seemed to be set up differently. There was a cuisine stage and an area for the cheese pairings but I didn't see the speakers stages.
I got there around 11 and went through the whole show by 1:30 which is pretty fast for the size of the show.
The reason it was faster was that we decided to only try a couple of cheeses. We have seen most of them already at different shows and we were looking to sample new things.
This show is catered to food distributors more than food bloggers. We did feel the lack of interest from some of the vendors. We were there to sample new things and share the things we liked that will be coming to restaurants and grocery stores in the future.
I was quite surprised at home many of the vendors had booths with just a display of packaged products without samples. The other noticeable thing was that there were many vendors who were on their phones and seemingly ignoring attendees walking by the booths.
I understand that they are only interested in sales but we could find a product we love and share it with someone that is in the position to purchase that product. This is not a reflection of the event organizers. It was organized well.
- Rice and grains
- cured hams
- Olives and Olive Oil
- Pickled products
- snack foods
- functional beverages
- Matty Matheson's Brisket sliders with his special sauces
- Stephano Faita's penne with his vodka pasta sauce
- Bison Tacos, my friend said she didn't like gamey meat and liked it.
- Milzu Hemp Crunch in Grilled Paprika. they were round crunchy snack balls, healthier than chips. One of the innovation award choices.
- Long Chips in Bacon flavour - long flat chip strips with perforated sections.
- The Bio Safe- Sour Cherry Mixology. - It tastes like a fresh sour cherry drink.
- Siciliana sodas in Lemon and Blood orange- I went back for more because it was so refreshing and not too sweet.
- Chocolate covered everything fruits and nuts. I tried the chocolate covered strawberries and it was so flavorful.
- Aromatic flavour winner: Basil Fused EVOO by Sarafino - Famiglia Pata (Italy)
- Ripe Fruity winner: San Bartolomeo by Soc. Coop. Agr. San Bartolomeo (Italy)
- Intense fruit flavour winner: MonoCultivar Coratina Bio Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Monini SpA (Italy)
- Medium fruit flavor winner: Pago FG Picual by Hacienda La Serrata, S.L. (Spain)
- Light fruit flavor winner: MonoCultivar Frantoio Bio Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Monini SpA (Italy)
with their delicious shelf-stable chicken broth in convenient single- serving packaging.
The Heal Tea secured the 2nd Prize with its
selection of organic, low-carb, plant-based herbal teas in recyclable cans.
In the Technology or
Service Category, Spatula Foods took home the 1st Prize with their gourmet flash-frozen ready
meals prepared by top local chefs.