It's been several years since I attended this show but I remembered the shear immensity of it. Just about every manufacturer of kitchen equipment and anything remotely related to it is represented here (in the hundreds). Chicago's McCormick Convention Center is the largest in the country and walking the aisles is a major expedition and adventure.This year's show was very special for me because, for the first time, I had my own booth for The Rose Line™ as part of NewMetro Design. Walking the show and standing by my booth to meet the reps, reviewers, potential customers, and old friends was old home week. Matt, one of the reps, actually brought along the Pie and Pastry Bible for me to sign, saying that he won first place in three pie contests using my sour cream pie crust from the book! Of course the first person I visited was Robert Laub at Harold Imports and was rewarded with the great display of my pie plates, now available in four colors! I was delighted to discover that they will soon be distributing my products, including the Rose's Heavenly Cake Strip in the UK. Just a short walk from the NewMetro booth we discovered Fat Daddio's booth. We had a great conversation with owner Gregg Skipper and learned that they are the company that made the Parrish Magic Line pans I've listed in my cake books. They now have an extensive selection of pans and baking equipment. Close by was my long-time friend Lisa Mansour's of NY Cake & Baking--the go to place for bakers and cake decorators in New York City. The booth next to us, the Wine Doctor, who shares Robert Trinque, marketing and sales, presented a device for wine preservation, which works so well it deserves a separate posting of its own (to come). We were thrilled to have a visit from J. Randall Owen, president of ThermoWorks, producer of the Thermapen thermometer. I told him how highly I value his thermometer but that I wished it didn't have an automatic shut-off. He gave us the invaluable information that the newest model (the one with the round battery) has 4 switches in the battery compartment and if switch #3 is turned to the off position, it stops the auto shut off! One of the most exciting discoveries at the show was at the Kitchen Aid booth where we viewed the new 14 cup food processor that has a thickness adjustment for the slicing blade easily accessible because it is located just above the controls on the front of the machine, plus a low starting speed choice option which prevents liquid ingredients from splashing up to the cover. I can't wait to try it but it won't be on the market until August. Sassafras, creators of La Cloche clay bakers, has a new pot called The Bread Dome designed specifically for No Knead Bread. The rounded and glazed bottom container gives a lovely shape to the bread and makes unmolding a breeze. Another major show highlight was the discovery of USA Pans that has taken over the Chicago Metallic line (the former source for some of my favorite cake pans) and improved upon it! We were delighted to visit the Bröd and Taylor booth where Michael Taylor and Julie Dykstra were demoing there wonderful bread proofer for the first time at the show. After working so hard each day we all looked forward to two dinners I had arranged many weeks in advance. Saturday night was Frontera Grill, one of my dear friends Rick and Deanne Bayless' not to be missed Latino restaurant. As the weather was exceptionally mild, we opted to walk over. Chicago is such a beautiful city, especially at night. We so enjoyed the night's special of chipotle glazed short ribs and tastes of everyone else's dinner we were not even thinking dessert but pastry chef Jennifer Jones offered us 4 fantastic desserts that we couldn't resist so we dove in. Pictured here with Jennifer Jones is Gary, owner of NewMetro, and his assistant Cheryl, who are eagerly anticipating the desserts. Sunday night, on the recommendation of photographer Ben Fink, we had dinner at the Girl and the Goat. Again we overindulged in myriads of appetizers and main courses. My dear friend Elizabeth Karmel, of Hill Country, who lives part time in Chicago, recommended the chickpea fritters which was my favorite dish of the evening but the escargot ravioli were amazing, and the goat belly was better even than any pork belly I've ever tasted. I wanted that to be my last taste of the evening but was curious about the dessert of gingerbread, cranberry sorbet, and candied ginger. We decided to share it 7 ways and laughed hysterically when we saw how small it was but it provided a perfect portion of one spoon per person. We are so excited about the evolving Rose Collection™ product line, which will arrive in stores and on line in June or July of this year. We look forward to the IAH as an annual event and reunion with our new family of NewMetro.
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