Canadian Pizza hit the trade show floor at this key annual event, held in Toronto Feb. 24-26, to discover the latest information, products and ideas to help operators improve their traffic and their bottom line.
Pizza was in focus at the Bellavita pavilion, where manufacturers of ingredients made in Italy educated attendees on their products. Chef Ciro Iovine, owner of Song' E Napule in New York City demonstrated how to formulate, knead and open Neapolitan pizza dough in a well-attended session sponsored by Galbani Professionale mozzarella cheese, Marra Forni ovens, Molini Lario flours and Pizza University and Culinary Arts Centre. Iovine said it is important to let the dough ferment at room temperature for 12 hours. Cover it to keep it from getting dry; if it starts to get dry, smoothing a little water on the top and re-covering it does wonders, he said. The successful chef said he found rotating ovens helpful in simplifying the baking process and encouraged pizza makers to use fewer ingredients on the pizza. "Give respect to the ingredients," he said.
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Faema Canada's booth was busy with operators checking out the sizeable selection of pizza ovens and coffee/espresso machines and products. Chef Michael Bou-Younes, lead instructor for Faema Culinary Academy, worked with students from Liaison College to demonstrate techniques to attendees.
At the Italiana FoodTech booth, Chef of the Year brass Maurizio Mascioli of Maurizio's in Parry Sound, Ont. (third place, Open) and Giovanni Campisi of Casa Mia Ristorante in Niagara Falls, Ont. (third place, Traditional) made pinsas, a very hydrated style of pizza, as fast as attendees could eat them. Roman-style pizzas topped with fruit and vegetable spirals and looking a lot like a gelato display showed how a beautiful display can catch the eye and a pizza can please the palate.
Across the show floor, in the Ontario pavilion, Beer You Can Eat out of Toronto was offering samples of its beer-infused pizza dough.
Other finds included sauces layered with flavours from Knorr, chocolate-stout-infused cheese from Gunn's Hill and infused extra-virgin olive oils from EVOO Fine Foods.
In the back corner of the show, patrons in the Restaurant of the Future were served by robots, including a friendly bot named Alice who gave people information about the menu. Located just off the technology pavilion, this futuristic shop highlighted juice and bubble tea, desserts, Japanese cuisine and Latin American food as areas with plenty of growth potential.
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