Exhibits, awards and special guests at the 2012 CRFA show
By Stefanie Wallace
March 22, 2012, Toronto – Thousands of chefs, restaurateurs, students
and industry professionals attended the 2012 Canadian Restaurant and
Foodservices Association (CRFA) show over three days of demonstrations,
networking, and exhibits of new products and services.
March 22, 2012, Toronto – Thousands of chefs, restaurateurs, students and industry professionals attended the 2012 Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) show over three days of demonstrations, networking, and exhibits of new products and services.
Held from March 4-6 at Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre, 12,000 guests attended the show, taking in more than 1,200 exhibitors, 32 educational seminars, six chef demos, competitions and myriad opportunities for new ideas to help grow and develop their foodservice and hospitality businesses.
Inspiration and ideas
The Breakfast with Champions on March 6 featured keynote speaker Ron MacLean and five other industry stakeholders on a panel sharing insights and inspirational business lessons for real-life situations: Mark Pacinda, president and CEO of Boston Pizza International Inc., Donna Dooher, chef, restaurateur and CRFA chair, Kevin Friesen, chief operating officer of Scores Rotisserie, Warren Erhart, president and CEO of White Spot Hospitality and John Betts, president and CEO of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Ltd.
Four exhibitors were honoured with best booth awards: Gala Bakery received the award for best small booth, Rational received the best traffic-building booth title, Embassy of Mexico Agricultural office received the best large booth award, and Delicious World Corp. were honoured with the best first-year exhibitor title.
Canada’s Bunn-O-Matic Corporation was honoured with a loyalty award, recognizing 50 years of participation at the show.
Brianne Nash, chef at Saucy restaurant in Mississauga, Ont., won the Discovered Culinary Competition after enduring four months of preliminary competitions involving more than 50 competitors and 23 judges. Nash beat 15 other finalists, winning the grand prize of a trip to Spain to train in the kitchen of Michelin-star restaurant Casa Gerardo.
Ambassadors, commissioners, city councillors, members of parliament and other government VIPs from across the GTA, North America and New Zealand, including Ernesto Maldonado, Mexican agriculture minister councillor; Doug Ford, Toronto city councillor; Andrew Needs, New Zealand high commissioner, and Maxime Bernier, federal minister of state for small business and tourism
Giving back to the community
Second Harvest collected an astounding 22,622 pounds of food from exhibitors at the show, including fresh fruit and vegetables, canned goods and sauces, snack foods, fresh salads and dips, breads, meat, cheese, crackers and snack foods.
In addition, the Stanley Cup made an appearance at the show, giving fans an opportunity to have their photo taken with the Cup in exchange for a donation to Friends of We Care, a charity assisting Canadian children with physical disabilities.
“The entire restaurant and hospitality community came together to make this the most exciting CRFA Show ever,” says CRFA president and CEO Garth Whyte. “There were more opportunities than ever to do business, network and learn about the latest trends and innovation in Canada’s dynamic restaurant industry.”
The 2013 CRFA Show will return to Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre on March 3-5, 2013.