Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ACF American Culinary Federation Caxambas Vendor Exhibit

The 3rd annual Vendor Showcase on October 26 featured different foodservice vendors and distributors, showcasing hundreds of tasty and innovative products. This is where chefs see and sample, learning how to add better quality and variety to their cuisine.

Denise Muir's Rabbit Run’s hydroponic produce via Jimmy Augustine's The Fresh Garden, gets my vote for tasty and beautiful. Chefs like Brian Roland artfully combine their produce with proteins, and customers fill up seats to savor his creations. Patrick Fevrier has long used his organic produce to create the best French cuisine in South Florida at Escargot 41.

Gourmet Gardener’s Kim and Randy’s Little Cypress Organics from Clewiston have the prettiest eggplant and squash blossoms
I’ve seen in a long time. I think IM Tapas uses their produce
Sysco presents Creekstone Farm’s new meats, Earthbound Farm’s organic veggies, and other non-organic produce.
Erik Tibcken of Halperns steaks and seafood offers the best in seafood. His ice sculpture incorporating fish and crabs is created by David Calandra of Run the Gamut’s “Ice Magic.”

North Star Seafood also features top quality fresh seafood. One lobster’s claw is larger than my hand, the crustacean must weigh 15 lbs!
Boar's Head provisions make the rounds.
Cory's Seafood rocks!
Gourmet Resources has amazing desserts at great price points-they have my vote!
Albert Uster Imports features clever molds, topped eggs, tartlets and cornets. Ricardo Ramirez of US Foodservice cooks delicious chorizos in Colombian (paprika), Brazilian (cilantro) and Argentinean styles. His empanadas and cheese arepas make some homesick for the real South American delights.
Cusano’s Bakery’s display says it all, for geat quality and variety. Italy's Fiordifrutta has a large variety of tasty organic, kosher, chemical free jams and spreads. Sweetening comes from natural fruits and apple juice, not gloppy high fructose corn syrup.
Wanna cook like El Bulli Chef Ferran Adrià with a Molecular Gastronomy’s chemistry set? Get “For the Gourmet” Texturas mini set. It has about 10 tiny grams each of 12 products-alginate, lecithin, gums and gels for $30 on Amazon. Read Alinea, and make carrot, mango, or even pizza “caviar.” While the kit lacks tapioca maltodextrin and other fun things-for $43, I’m not complaining! Soon, my mad scientist, you’ll use Chicken McNuggets' transglutaminase meat glue to craft more creative cuisines, play with lobster and banana foams, edible menus, and prepare powdered olive oil and rum.
Carlos and Paul from R. L. Schreiber offer a wide selection of spices, spice blends rich gravies and stocks. The American Culinary Federation Caxambas Chapter of Naples and Marco Island generously supports the students and the Culinary Arts programs of the Collier County School District through their Scholarship Fund and Grant Program.

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