The foodservice and hospitality industry is an integral part of the Canadian economy, contributing $80 billion and providing 1.2 million jobs for Canadians. Restaurants Canada is the not-for-profit association representing members of this industry. It presents its annual trade show entitled RC Show. The show is Canada’s most significant yearly industry foodservice event, and at this year’s RC Show 2018 (held at the Enercare Centre) there were over 18000 restaurateurs, foodservice professionals and buyers in attendance and over 1000 exhibitors and eight pavilions.

This year’s theme was ” Innovation Unleashed,” with a focus on the future of the foodservice industry.
The show floor was divided into various pavilions: Bar & Beverage, Canada, Coffee, Tea & Sweets, Eco, Ontario, Tech, Specialty, and World.
The Bellavita Expo Toronto showcased the best in Italian foods and beverages. It hosted a panel entitled, “The Secrets of the UNESCO World Heritage Art of Pizza Making.
Beyond the Plate was an interactive exhibit with pop-up containers that had samples from The Rolling Pin, Chocosol, and Station Cold Brew. Space to Spoon had panels with Dr. Irwin Adam and other food futurists who discussed the trends in the industry.
There were many seminars of relevant topics including “How Technology is Changing the Game,” ” The Future of Cannabis,” “ How to Grow Your Business With Gluten-Free” and “How Local Can Help Your Bottom Line.”
Jon Taffer of TV series “Bar Rescue” shared his strategies on building a winning sales team.
The show also hosted various competitions. Beyond the Rail Cocktail Competition was where bartenders competed for $5000 in cash prizes, the Speed rack Cocktail competition had top female bartenders competed with proceeds going to Rethink Breast Cancer. Garland Canada Culinary Competition was where chefs competed for $5000 prize with their most innovative and profitable dish. Coffee and Good Spirits Competition engaged barista/mixologist to produce two alcohol-based coffee drinks using Irish Coffee and Kavi Reserve, and 2018 Latte Art Nationals had baristas create six drinks with two sets of matching free-pour lattes and one set of matching designer patterns.
There were lots of foods and products to sample. Moon Mist (rainbow coloured ice cream) from London Ice Cream Co reminded us of childhood. Mood Water, called “the most funnest spring water in the world” was adorable with its unique emojis representing one’s mood (sassy, smiley, cool, lucky). Ferrante Cheese’s caciocavallo cheese was quite delicious. Sunshine Farm‘s pickles (preservative free) were delicious. Sprucewood Shores 2016 Pinot Grigio was on point. 183 Maison Routin France Syrups were mixed with Kohana Cold Brew Coffee and Crystal Head Vodka to create a delicious Cold Brew Coffee Martini. G is for Gelato‘s Cinnamon Toast Crunch Gelato was quite addictive. Metropolitan Ice Cream‘s red wine ice cream expertly combines our two favourite items. We were quite excited at the Jamaica booth to learn about Juliana’s Sweet Pineapple Pepper Sauce and to try it at home. Boulart‘s cranberry and chocolate bread were simply amazing. Carla’s Pasta was outstanding.
Tweed, which produces CBD oil, showed us how to create food pairings with the oils. Their TWD Lot #3 (made with organic sunflower oil) was paired with wild mushrooms, rye gougere, Emmental, mustard, and sauerkraut.
Sanpellegrino showcased its new tea and sparkling water drinks.
We had a lot of fun chatting with the Heinz 57 talking robot.
The Sushi Robot was quite amazing to watch in action. It eased up the process of sushi making. The BKON Craft Brewer created a perfectly infused premium tea.
There were lots of gluten-free products on display from companies like Avena, Mi & Stu, Sticklings,
Diana’s Seafood had fresh seafood available to try.
At the opening night party, the RC Legacy Award was given to the family of the late John Bil (restauranteur and seafood expert), and the RC Culinary Excellence Award went to Joshna Maharaj (chef and activist).
All in all, RC Show 2018 was a huge success.

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