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National Restaurant Association - Explore latest trends at ‘quasi food lab’ Foodamental Studio

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Explore latest trends at ‘quasi food lab’ Foodamental Studio

Restaurant operators seeking information on the industry’s latest food trends and techniques will be able to test them out for themselves at Foodamental Studio, an interactive workshop, at NRA Show 2014 in Chicago, May 17-20.

Over the course of the four days, the workshops – more than 20 classes in all ‑will allow operators to dig into a little bit of everything ‑ from the latest fermentation and butchery techniques  to dessert design to adopting trending cuisine flavor notes. The classes are limited to 50 attendees each and will be led by award-winning chefs, including Mindy Segal, 2012 James Beard Award winner and owner of HotChocolate restaurant, as well as industry experts such as cheesemonger Lisa Futterman and food photographer Jeff Kauck. The participants will get to hear first-hand accounts from the experts and then try out the techniques themselves.

“We are really excited about this,” said Leana Salamah, the National Restaurant Association’s senior director of convention marketing and communications. “What we really want to do is demystify these trends and make them accessible for all operators in our industry. We want them to be able to try them for themselves and see what makes sense for them to pursue at their own restaurants.”

Salamah said Foodamental Studio came about during a conversation she had with Lindsay Feitlinger, a former producer for the Oprah show turned executive producer for the NRA show. They talked about ideas thought of for past education sessions and Salamah began reminiscing about a planned lab-type class on gourmet sandwiches that never came to fruition.

“That's when it hit me,” Feitlinger wrote in a recent blog post about Foodamental Studio, hold “a full-time, interactive, hands-on, expert-led line-up of classes … right on the show floor.”

According to Salamah, after the logistics of putting on the workshops were addressed, Feitlinger contacted several industry experts to get input on the idea and what subject matter to tackle.

“She went to industry folks, culinary colleges and food trend writers,” she said. “Everyone loved the idea. Then we were off and running. Lindsay identified and managed to recruit some of the leading experts in our industry to help us put this on.”

Foodamental Studio will be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place conference center, on level one of the north hall. For a look at the workshop lineup, go here.

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