National Restaurant Association Introduces Full Line-Up of Acclaimed Chefs and Experts for Foodamental Studio, a New Interactive Event Area at NRA Show 2014

Attendees will experience hands-on workshops led by top chefs such as James Beard winners Mindy Segal, Tony Maws, and Stephanie Izard from May 17-20

National Restaurant Association Attendees at this year’s 2014 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show® will have the opportunity to explore new culinary trends hands-on at the new Foodamental Studio, an intimate, interactive educational workshop area with 20+ classes, located in North Hall, Level One. Over the course of four days, a select group of 50 attendees will explore techniques in everything from fermentation to dessert design to adopting trending cuisine flavor notes such as Filipino and Malaysian. Led by award-winning chefs such as James Beard-nominated Paul Virant of Vie and Perennial Virant and recent Cochon 555 winner Tim Graham of Travelle, Foodamental Studio participants will have the opportunity to hear from experts and then roll up their sleeves and try the techniques out for themselves.

"I'm absolutely thrilled with the way the lineup for Foodamental Studio came together," said Sam Facchini, 2014 NRA Convention Chair and co-founder/co-owner of Metro Pizza in Las Vegas.  "In its inaugural year, this entirely new concept attracted some of the industry's leading experts in trends that are timely and relevant to foodservice operators of all shapes and sizes. Personally, I've already got the 'Bread-y When You Are' session on my Show schedule, as we've just recently developed a bread bakery and breakfast café in Las Vegas."

The full line-up of Foodamental Studio sessions is as follows.

Saturday, May 17

  • Food Selfie (9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m.): James Beard-nominated food photographer Jeff Kauck will share his over 20+ years of experience on how to take the perfect food beauty shot for social media and website needs to drive diners’ appetites
  • We're in a Pickle (10:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.): As one of the top trends in prepared foods from the NRA’s 2014 What’s Hot Survey, learn the basics of pickling and brining for everything from protein to produce. James Beard Best Chef: Great Lakes finalist Paul Virant will share his pickling recipes from his acclaimed cookbook The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-Doux
  • Bread-y When You Are (12:00 p.m. -12:45 p.m.): The once-overlooked starter takes center stage with the rise in artisan breads from ciabatta to challah to pretzel buns. Heidi Hedeker, M.A., C.E.P.C., Baking & Pastry Chef Instructor at Kendall College shares her insight from her work as a consulting baker for The Good Loaf, an organic, not-for-profit bakery as well as her own online bakery business specializing in European pastry of
  • Malaysian Flavors (1:15 p.m.-2:00 p.m.): As another “What’s Hot” trend, experiment with the spices and aromatics of Malaysian cuisine from turmeric to tamarind for deeply-layered, complex flavor without the spicy heat of other Southeast Asian cuisines. From the Malaysia Trade Commission, Malaysia’s Food Ambassador to the U.S. Christina Arokiasamy brings her wealth of experience in Southeast Asia’s premier restaurants including the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay and Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
  • Say Cheese (2:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m.): Perfect your cheese vocabulary and learn the basic pairings with beverages, olives, meats, fruits, and breads to create a perfect cheese plate from cheesemongers Lisa Futterman and Bryan Bland of Pastoral Artisan Cheese
  • The Chop Shop (3:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m.) Craftsman Rob Levitt, chef and owner of The Butcher and the Larder, Chicago’s first sustainable, all whole animal butcher shop, showcases the art of nose-to-tail butchery
Sunday, May 18
  • That's Oil, Folks! (9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m.): Discover alternative oils such as High Olecic Soybean, High Oleic Canola, Non-GMO Canola as well as specialty oils to create a depth of flavor to cuisine or high-end cocktails from the experts at Columbus Oil
  • Carbonation Station (10:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.): As the number one trend in non-alcoholic beverages, Steve McDonagh, one half of the Hearty Boys and owner of Spritz Burger, will share his insights into the inventive housemade sodas from their popular burger restaurant 
  • Pleased to Meat You (12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m.): Chef Tim Graham, Executive Chef at Travelle, and recent winner of Cochon 555, a heritage pork competition amongst the city’s top chefs, will share the art of charcuterie with everything from terrines, savory mousses, pâtés, sausages, cured meats and smoked meats
  • DIY Desserts (1:15 p.m.-2:00 p.m.): Inspire customers to get creative with the tips and tricks to execute a “make-your-own” dessert program. James Beard award winner and owner of Hot Chocolate Mindy Segal will share her creative creations for dessert sandwich cookies
  • Food Selfie (2:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m.): Renowned food photographer Derek Richmond will share his publishing insight on how to take the perfect food beauty shot with his experience working with Condé Nast Traveler, GQ, Food & Wine, and The Wall Street Journal
  • A Grain of Truth (3:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m.): Cynthia Harriman, Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies at the Whole Grain Council, and Chef Mike Holleman, chair of the Whole Grain Council Advisors Board, will teach attendees how to procure, prepare, and work with specialty and ancient grains like amaranth, barley, farro, freekeh, groats, millet, oats, rye, quinoa, and wheat berries to attract health-conscious consumers
Monday, May 19
  • Fermentation Station (9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m.): Lauryn Chen, author of The Kimchi Cookbook: 60 Traditional and Modern Ways to Make and Eat Kimchi will teach the basics of the ancient art of fermentation, how to get started, and the health benefits of the technique
  • Sour Power (10:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.): James Beard Best Chef: North East (2011) and owner of the acclaimed Craigie on Maine Tony Maws will explore the flavor profiles of mustards, citrus, vinegars, and more to add acidity to dishes and pack a punch of flavor
  • Oh Say Can We Seaweed (12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m.): Taking cues from Asian and Nordic chefs who prize légumes de mer for their snappy texture and deeply oceanic, umami-rich flavor, Chef Barton Seaver, Director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard's School of Public Health and Bren Smith Executive Director, GreenWave, will showcase edible saltwater plants from nori, kelp, and algae for dishes from noodles, grains, and even desserts
  • We're in a Pickle (1:15 p.m.-2:00 p.m.): Chef John Currence, Southern chef of City Grocery Restaurant Group, and author of Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey: Recipes from My Three Favorite Food Groups and Then Some,will showcase the craft of pickling and brining and how to apply them to everything from protein to produce and appetizers to entrees
  • Flippin’ over Filipino Flavors (2:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m.): As the next big Asian flavor trend, Chefs Jess DeGuzman and Michael Morales of Michelin-recommended New Asian restaurant Sunda will showcase the sweet, salty, and sour flavors of this hot cuisine with ingredients like Bagoong, calamansi, coconut sugar
  • Discovering Beef’s Hidden Gems Together (3:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m.): Hear about the popular new cuts of meat and how to use them on your menu from Canada Beef, a nationally-recognized exporter of quality beef leads this session
Tuesday, May 20
  • Quick Pickles and Beyond (9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m.): One of the most well-known uses of acid is with the classic pickle—but there's a lot of room for creativity. Executive Chef Stephanie Izard of Girl and the Goat and Little Goat will share basic pickling techniques plus ways to branch out, including preserved lemons, kimchi and more.
  • Today's Secret Ingredient...TEA! (10:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.): Suzette Hammond, Director of Education for Rishi Tea, a leader in fine quality organic and fair trade teas will teach how to take tea beyond the cup and explore how this diverse ingredient can enhance the sweet, sour, and the savory
  • Beer Got Your Tongue (12:00 p.m-12:45 p.m.): Explore the Six Principals of Pairing to better understand how beer can best be experienced alongside a variety of foods with former head brewmaster of Goose Island Jared Rouben and current owner of the upcoming Moody Tongue Brewing
  • Choco Loco (1:15 p.m.-2:00 p.m.): Trained in the patisseries of Paris and current pastry chef at Acadia, Thomas Raquel showcases innovative ways to bring chocolate in to your menu
NRA Show 2014 will be held May 17-20 and IWSB will be held May 18-19 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. To register, please visit

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