By Canadian Pizza
By Canadian Pizza
Mississauga, Ont. – The Restaurants Canada Show, which took place Feb. 26-28 in Toronto, marked Canada’s 150th birthday by celebrating the diversity of Canadian food culture and the unity of the foodservice industry along with its challenges and strengths.
The annual trade show kicked off a yearlong “Making Moments” campaign aimed at highlighting the unique role restaurants play in the everyday lives of Canadians. Organizers invite restaurant owners, employees and customers to share their favourite restaurant moment. Did you land your first job in a restaurant? Work with a restaurant to raise money for a good cause? By sharing your story with Restaurants Canada, you or your customers could win a trip for two to Yukon or one of several prizes.
The show hosted more than 500 booths offering products, services and educational sessions designed to help restaurants, bakeries and other foodservice operations run their businesses more efficiently and profitably.
The Uniquely Canadian Food Experience paired renowned chefs from different regions with signature fare to highlight the country’s food landscape. Charlotte Langley and Robert Belcham were among the culinary stars serving deliciously Canadian dishes during the show.
The event also looked toward the future and the ways technology can help businesses be more efficient and improve the customer experience. A tech pavilion highlighted point-of-sale systems, internet services, web design and mobile apps.
Kodisoft had its interactive restaurant tables on display. The tables are large, high-definition screens with proprietary sensor technology below the screen’s surface. Customers can browse and order from the menu and play collaborative games while waiting for their food.
Oven technology continues to evolve as well. WD College had its new Turbochef single- and double-batch pizza ovens on display, which are designed for stacking and connect to cloud-based Wi-Fi to help manage your menu and analyze data from outside your restaurant. Meanwhile at the Fornoteca booth, visitors inspected the Duetto oven, which can cook a Neapolitan pizza in 90 seconds using two burners and a self-turning, 16-inch ceramic stone.
Among ready-made bakery items were Lorelyn’s Gourmet Desserts, which are all gluten-free, nut-free and vegan. The Toronto company’s Choco-Chia Chip and Ooey-Gooey Fudge cookies, Banana Bonanza muffins and Brownie Blitz brownies are individually packaged, free of dairy, eggs and suitable for kosher and halal diets. The products have a shelf life of one year frozen, three months refrigerated and seven days at room temperature.
Craft beer continues to grow in popularity. A bevy of beer booths had their custom brews on tap, among them Nickel Brook Brewing, Farmery Estate Brewery, High Park Brewery, Cowbell Brewing and Beau’s All Natural Brewing.
On the ingredients side, Uncle Ben’s had a quinoa and ancient grains rice medley made especially for food service and not available in grocery stores. A mixture of red quinoa, millet, farro, wheat berries and French lentils, each 100-gram portion contains 14 grams of protein.
Several tasty tutorials sprinkled around the show floor gave operators a chance to relax, taste and learn. During one of these, award-winning Nespresso coffee sommelier Elyse Lambert demonstrated how proper pairing can enhance the guest experience. Lambert matched Nespresso Grand Crus espressos with several chocolates provided by Barry Callebaut. Slurping from a spoon works best for controlling the amount of coffee you taste with the chocolate, she said, and if chocolate with lots of cacao is best complemented by a powerful and robust coffee.
However you take your trends, the show – “dubbed “RC Unleashed” – served up something for everyone involved in Canada’s one-of-a-kind foodservice industry.