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Tracy Kosbau
Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations

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Midwest’s Premier Foodservice Event

The Midwest’s top food and beverage executives gathered in one location for three days of networking and business for the 2014 Midwest Foodservice Expo. Held March 10-12, the event once again brought excitement and value to attendees from 21 states including Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, and beyond.

Enjoy this recap of some of the excitement that took place in 2014…

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Keynote photo


Celebrities Headline the Expo

Cat Cora, Food Network’s first female Iron Chef, restaurant mogul, author, philanthropist and more, kicked off the 2014 Expo with an outstanding presentation. Television personality Kyle Cherek of Wisconsin Foodie hosted a Q&A with Cora as she shared her unforgettable story and memorable experiences. After the keynote, Cat Cora met attendees and signed copies of her books.

Sanford D’Amato, James Beard winning chef, founder and former owner of Sanford Restaurant and Coquette Café in Milwaukee and author, also presented an inspiring address on Tuesday of the Show. During the session, Sandy sat with TV’s Kyle Cherek as they touched on pieces of Sandy’s memoir GOOD STOCK: Life on a Low Simmer. Chef D’Amato was also available throughout the show for special book signings.

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Show Floor Successes

2014 added even more booths to the show floor – this year had a 10% increase.

Hundreds of suppliers from 30 states and Canada came to the Expo for attendees to shop and compare. Attendees were able to sample thousands of products and get plenty of ideas to renew and refresh their business for the year.

Check out the event pages of the Expo website to see snapshots from this year’s show!

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Culinary Demos by Prominent Chefs

The popular Culinary Theater brought successful chefs from around the country, including acclaimed authors and television personalities, to the show floor to highlight good food and simple techniques.

Visit the event page to see pictures and download recipes (PDFs) shared by some of our presenters during their live demonstrations.

Scott Walker photo  

Dignitaries at the Expo

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, State Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers and Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett were among the high-profile dignitaries that visited the Expo in 2015.

Take a look at what they did while they were here.

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Eye-catching Inspiration

Catering-focused activity brought quite a sight to behold at the Expo. In its 6th year, the Tabletop Design Competition featured nine stunning entries for 8-top tables. Awards were presented for Most Innovative, Best Use of a Theme, Most Viable and People’s Choice.

Click here for photos of the winners and more photos of the event..

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Artistic Desserts

Top bakery professionals and budding pastry artists battled in the Expo’s popular Art of the Cake Competition in four categories: Extreme Wedding Cake Challenge, Extreme Groom’s Cake Challenge (NEW!), Creative Cake Decorating Competition, Cupcake Warrior Championship and the brand new Baker’s Best Kringle Contest. The only competitions of their kind in the state, the desserts were a stunning reminder of the talent housed in Wisconsin.

Take a look at photos of the winning designs!

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Student Competitions

The industry’s next wave of top talent came to the show on Monday and Tuesday for the College Culinary Arts Competition and the ProStart® Invitational for high school students.

Check out the winners of the College Competitions and the results of the culinary and management components of the ProStart Invitational.

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Restaurant Industry Leaders Honored

On Tuesday night of the show, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association’s top awards were revealed at the Awards Dinner held at Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee.

Trey Hester of Rocky Rococo Restaurants, headquartered in Oconomowoc, received the state’s highest honor, the Restaurateur of the Year Award.

See the list of honorees.

Awards Dinner photo

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What’s Next?

We’re already busy planning a great event for 2015. Save March 9-11 on your calendar and make plans to be at the Midwest Foodservice Expo! Become a fan on the Expo’s Facebook page for the latest announcements on what’s in store.

Thanks again for your interest in the Expo… See you next year!

March 9-11, 2015
Midwest Foodservice Expo
Wisconsin Center • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
800.589.3211 • 608.270.9950

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Wisconsin Restaurant Association • 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd. • Madison, WI 53713 • Tel: 608.270.9950 • Toll Free: 800.589.3211 • FAX: 608.270.9960