Eating my espresso! #CSES2016 Tradeshow Finds

Retro Rad chef Emily Ellyn Wedding expert Sasha Souza and renowned Chef Jack Milan
Retro Rad chef Emily Ellyn Wedding expert Sasha Souza and renowned Chef Jack Milan

Coffee.. I needed some right now, lord I know someone is giving away coffee here somewhere. Sure I could pay for it at one of the concessions, but I wanted a good cup of coffee. Vendors serving coffee on the tradeshow floor was a better bet.. it has to be good right..  they are demo-ing it to us  so we will use their product.

I was slowly eating my way down each isle.. not having breakfast will do that and lunch-time was also long gone. Was it me or were there more food vendors this year serving delicious appetizers? Did you know that you don’t have to cook anything anymore?

It’s true .. we are turning into a world (well North America) of everything ready made. Lets face it, I actually seen a can of mashed potatoes on a shelf at ‘Smart and Final’! I thought to myself, now how lazy is that.. as I picked up the box of dehydrated scalloped potatoes I had come there for.

There are some things I just suck at (well drinking wine from a baby bottle at Pigalle in Vegas isn’t one of them), but making scalloped potatoes is. The trade show floor is alive with all kinds of exciting classes and new vendors it is hard to take it all in.

Always on the look-out for something new I am still looking for my coffee fix at the trade show, when I stumble upon this, waffle shots..waffle shots

Chocolate coated waffle cups.. no I am not kidding.. I flippantly say “can I get a coffee in one of those?” without missing a beat the gal says of course .. would you like an espresso? Are you serious.. really? Espresso in a chocolate coated waffle cup!! I not only get my coffee, but get to eat it too!

I continue happily on my way with my coffee fix and nibbling  my cup, which is delicious! I come upon another decadent surprise. Sarah Lee has a chef serving up cheesecake milkshakes! Sometimes life throws you a curveball.. you struggle and get through it, and other times like right now, the universe all comes together to preserve this perfect moment in time. Life is good..

stuffingI came upon a vendor called ‘A LA HENRI’ a family owned business that does handcrafted food products. I suppose ‘handcrafted’ means not made by machines.. we should put that on all our menus ‘handcrafted’ .. the machines got the day off ..

They had dressing or stuffing in trays and this particular item interested me (they have other things as well). We have one job every Christmas that we need to make 900 lbs of stuffing! Last year along came another one for that much again. We sometimes start in October to make the stuffing for these events.

Everyone hates making stuffing, including me, from cutting the bread or buns to the tedious mixing of ingredients’ and then wrapping them up for the freezer. This requires an assembly line and is just plain boring and tedious.

We always run out of something especially bread.. we have had our sources in the past but we have paid through the nose as well, for ‘day old’. We have never really sat down and figured out the cost of all this because of our labour 15.00 an hour times three people.. we just don’t want to know. This product ‘AL LA HENRI’ tastes delicious and needs to be on our list to try!!

Last year I wrote about battery operated heated ceramic chaffers that I thought were absolutely amazing. This year we have The Catering Stone! This little gem looks like one of those water pack thingys that you freeze for coolers.

It needs to be put in boiling water for an hour and a half I think.. but will stay hot from 4 to 6 hours.. you can also freeze it too. Don’t you just love how I lead you on and then leave you hanging? You need to look this up it is phenomenal, they have a video on using it!

Why not attend the Catersource conference next year “it is in New Orleans!..woohoo!” because I’m sure they will be there again. ‘The Catering Stone’ saves you from using sterno or chaffers or whatever it is you are using, to keep stuff hot or cold.

You can put bowls, plates, platters or you name it on top of it, it has a metal ring that it fits into, sold separately. I thought they were a little pricey but hey.. ‘poof’ and the chaffers are history and you know how we all hate those ugly chaffers!

designing spoons
designing spoons

Another booth my daughter enjoyed was the massage booth as we met up and she looked well rested.. and had actually booked another one for the following day! She also bought ‘designing spoons’ from T-Ble .. sorry but everything was in French and they had every carving and grinding and scalloping device and hardware you could ever need/want!

Also on the tradeshow floor were classes and events taking place non-stop. One of the more popular ones was the Show Stage Wednesday morning “My Favorite Things’ Retro Rad Chef Emily Ellyn and wedding expert Sasha Souza as well as Famous Chef Jack Milan held court.

They entertained the masses with all of their favorite things they cannot live without. There was thousands of dollars worth of merchandise in prize draws and everyone walked away with a ‘swag bag’… which also included a favorite thing from me!

my new product line
my new product line

I looked after Jack Milans booth ‘’ while he presented at the class. He has the edible spoons in 14 flavours, I brought home some of the square wafers that he used as ‘tasters’. The edible spoons were a big hit this year and Jack had record sales.

Jack Milan and myself
Jack Milan and myself

I have to tell you I am addicted to the sea salt ones .. dam him, for making me take them home! You need to package those in a ‘snack pack’ Jack.. hey.. you can call them Jacks snacks!! I will buy them for sure. Did I tell you they are all hand made?