National Restaurant Association Show at McCormick Place

May 21, 2008 11:07:47 AM PDT
The National Restaurant Association Show is taking place from May 17 to 20 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The convention showcases food from around the world, its preparation and presentation. And, according to ABC7's Frank Mathie, something new has been added.

The most fattening Chicago convention of the year is not open to the public. Only industry members can take part in the giant food freebee.

"Seventy-five thousand restaurant professionals from 115 countries are here to see more than 900 different kinds of products. Everything you could possibly see in a restaurant or hotel," said Mary Pat Heftnan, Sr. Vice President of the National Restaurant Association.

The International Wine, Spirits and Beer Event is a new addition to the annual event. The products promoted are not typical items found at the local liquor store.

"Our new wine, spirits and beer event which has products from around the world?we have about 400 brands on display here. From your traditional Corona to Jalapeño vodka and tequila," said Heftnan.

"Jalapeño vodka?it's a peppery vodka and it tastes like jalapeño with vodka in it?whoa baby. Now I need some salt and lemon to go with that," said Denise Gerard, owner of Spirits of the U.S.A.

Jalapeño vodka may make for heartburn and a headache. Tequila fans can get tequila infused with peppers at the show.

Restaurant industry workers can also find unusual booze and plenty of beers from all around the world.

"This is Dendermonde beer brewed in Dendermonde, Belgium by monks. They've been doing this since 1500s," said Lesli Rowell of Noble Union Trading.

The show ends on May 20.


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