Always up to something new and special, Baldor Specialty Foods, headquartered in the Bronx, NY, outdid itself Monday, April 22 by hosting a spectacular promotional and exhibition event, titled "Bite, an arousal of your taste buds" that unfolded as sort of a mini-convention.
"A little over 1,500 people attended," John Magazino, senior category specialist for Baldor told The Produce News the morning after the event. "And vendors whocame to display their product lines added another 150 to 200 people. It was the first event of its kind that Baldor has held, and we are totally thrilled at its success."
Displaying fresh produce lines were Mann Packing from Salinas, CA; Philips Mushroom Farms, headquartered in Kennett Square, PA; Hudson River Fruit Distributors in Milton, NY; Tanimura & Antle, headquartered in Salinas, CA: and J. Marchini Farms in Le Grand, CA. Baldor also had its own exhibition booth with it mushroom division and another displaying its fresh cut division. Also exhibiting was Ocean Mist Farms from Castroville, CA; Scarborough Farms in Oxnard, CA; Driscoll's Strawberry Associates in Watsonville, CA; Babe Farms in Santa Maria, CA; First Fruits Marketing of Washington, headquartered in Yakima, WA; and Lucky's Real Tomatoes headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.
Mr. Magazino added that Baldor plans to continue to attend some of the major food shows in country, but company executives felt that it was important to pull its audience and vendors together all in one place, and to showcase the talents of the celebrity chefs with whom the company works.
"It was part vendor show, part celebration and part in honor of the suppliers and farmers in whom we count on to do business," Mr. Magazino added.
Reports from visitors at the event was that the aisles were as packed full of people as they are at the annual Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit, with some referring to it as a mini-Fresh Summit.
The food and beverages on hand to keep the crowd satiated were being prepared by some of the biggest names in the culinary world.
"Baldor is very fortunate to work with some of the biggest names in the culinary industry ," said Mr. Magazino. "The event featured hundreds of fine food products from around the world with tasty bites prepared by 15 of New York City's greatest chefs."
Live demos and presentations featured leading culinary industry chefs such as Daniel Boulud, Dan Barber, Danny Bowien, Ruth Reichl, Dave Arnold and others. The pastry expo featured James Beard nominees, Ghaya Oliveira and Dominique Ansel.
Attendees also enjoyed signature cocktails by celebrated mixologists, craft beers from Captain Lawrence Brewery and a wonderful array of wines by the glass.
Among the biggest buzzes going on at the event was chatter about hopes that Baldor was planning to make it an annual event.
"We definitely are going to do this every year," said Mr. Magazino. "And we expect, based on the responses we were getting last night, it's going to be even bigger and better in 2014."