California Restaurant Association To Host 3RD Annual Culinary Clash: Battle Anaheim At 2014 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo

Anaheim, CA, July 14, 2014 - Several Southern California restaurants have signed on to participate in the 3rd annual Culinary Clash: Battle Anaheim, presented by Coca Cola, at the 2014 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo. The annual fundraising event benefits the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (CRAEF), and features restaurant company teams that will battle in this interactive cooking competition, slated to commence at 3 p.m. Sunday, August 17th at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.

“What better way to raise money for a worthwhile industry cause than to bring in leading corporate chefs and executives to team with ProStart students in an exciting competition,” said Ron Mathews, Industry Vice President of Urban Expositions, producers of the event. “This exciting and interactive cooking competition among restaurant teams raises money for high school culinary arts education, and the Foundation’s work nurturing the next generation of foodservice leaders inspiring us to do what we can to ensure the future of the foodservice industry.”

The Culinary Clash includes restaurant company corporate chefs and executives who team up with a ProStart student to prepare an amuse bouche and an entrée in 45 minutes using only two butane burners.

The 2014 Culinary Clash teams include:
• BJ’s Restaurants
• Daily Grill
• Ruth's Chris Steak House
• Black Bear Diner
• Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar
• Hard Rock Café
• Specialty Restaurants
• Real Mex - Who Song & Larry's
• ESPN Zone

“In the spirit of good fun and giving back to a worthy cause, the Culinary Clash is lucky enough to convene some of the top brands in the industry to battle it out,” CRAEF Executive Director Alycia Harshfield said. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to raise support and awareness about the Foundation at the show.”

Sponsors include Title Sponsor Coca Cola; Ingredient Sponsor ProACT; Gold Sponsors Heartland Payment Systems and UnitedHealthCare; Silver Sponsors Ecolab and Sysco; Equipment Sponsor Blendtec; Goodie Bag Sponsor Monin; Bronze Sponsors Cargill, Mercer and Dart; and In-Kind Sponsors Coca-Cola, Karl Strauss, Sweet Tomatoes Souplantation, Red Lobster, Chef Works, Panda Express, and Rodney Strong Wine Estates.

In addition to the cooking competition, the event includes an online fundraising campaign at www.calrest.org/clashvote, where restaurant fans can make a small donation in the name of their favorite participating restaurant. The company that attracts the most donations will take home the top Purse award at the event. Fans can also go to the CRAEF Facebook page to support their favorite Culinary Clash challenger and donate to CRAEF. Small donations can make a big difference for the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s efforts in providing high-quality education, mentoring, scholarships, life skills training and support to more than 5,800 dedicated students across California enrolled in ProStart programs.

The 2014 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo is the largest showcase of foodservice products in the Western United States. Other special events at the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo include the Food Trends Experience, The Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum, Expo Comida Latina, the CA Craft Brewers Association Pavilion, the Roam Food Truck Academy, and the Multi Unit Operators Alliance.

About The Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo - The 2014 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo will be held Sunday, August 17 - Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The Show is produced and managed by Urban Expositions, and sponsored by the California Restaurant Association (www.calrest.org). For more information on exhibiting or attending visit the official Show website at www.thefoodshows.com.

About the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (CRAEF)
CRAEF has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships and grants since its inception in 1981. CRAEF works to enhance education and training programs within the hospitality industry. ProStart is a two-year program designed to prepare high school juniors and seniors for exciting careers in foodservice. For more information, visit craef.org .

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