Schedule of Events for 2016 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show

Tuesday, September 27:  Exhibit Hall open 11 am – 5 pm

  • 8:30am – 12:0pm Independent Operators Workshop – a new education offering providing independent operators with solutions they can immediately apply for business growth, best practice sharing, and the opportunity to learn relevant new management skills.   Attendees will leave with practical, real-life tips and techniques to accelerate their business. Keynotes by Kathleen Wood and Jim Knight.
  • 1:00pm Torch Award Presentation to Melissa Kelly, the chef and owner of Primo is a James Beard Award Recipient and credited for bring Farm to Table to Florida. She will receive the TORCH Award and sit down with Master Chef Ferdinand Metz for a Q&A and culinary demonstration.
  • 3:30 – 4:15 pm – Culinary Demonstration by Ashley Nickell, ASH Orlando, Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. 
  • 4:00pm Practical Nutrition for Today’s Top Chefs - learn what is needed to provide, be known for, and fully achieve recognition for your menu item brilliance while also satisfying today’s diners in booth 1185 - Theater A.
  • 5:30pm-7:30pm - New Opening Night Party all attendees, exhibitors and media are invited to attend the new Opening Night Party at Lafayette’s at Pointe Orlando - enjoy appetizers, entertainment and drinks while networking with fellow restaurant and foodservice professionals. Tickets available at  

Wednesday, September 28: Exhibit Hall open 11 am – 5 pm

  • 12:00 – 12:45pm Celebration of Women Chefs Our panel of celebrated women Chefs will explore, discuss and debate all issues as they relate to the restaurant and foodservice today including the evolution of women chefs and restaurateurs in the kitchen. Panelists include Susan Harman, Morini Brands; Michelle Noble, Le Cordon Bleu; Kathleen Vossenberg, Le Cordon Bleu; and Andrea Zelen, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, The Coop, Central Bakery
  • 1:00 pm - Beacon Award Presentation to Edna Morris, Managing Director of Axum Capital Partners & CEO and partner in Range Restaurant Group.  The presentation will be followed by the Foodservice Council for Women panel discussion featuring industry leaders sharing their insights, resources and "secrets" for winning in today's competitive marketplace.
  • 1:30 pm - Pitch the Press - You are invited to a unique one-hour event to experience presentations from a specially selected group of the most intriguing new products, services, and trends from the exhibit floor.  Each presenter will be given the opportunity to pitch for 2 minutes, followed by a 1-minute Q&A for press and buyers. Pitch the Press will be held in Theater A (Booth 1185) on the show floor.
  • 3:00 – 5:00 pm - Rapid Fire Challenge: Appetizer Edition - The three finalists, Chefs Eric Parker, Duffy’s Sports Grill; Ernie Danjean, Dockside Café; and Tavoris Ingram, The Twisted Tuna will demonstrate their dish, featuring a local ingredient –and provide samples for the judges and the audience. One chef will be named the champ after judge and audience voting, and win the $1,000 prize. 
  • 4:00pm - B.O.L.D. Leadership – Four “Must Haves” to Ensure Business Success - Kathleen Wood shares the four “must-haves” all leaders need to insure business success. Her B.O.L.D. leadership model is based upon 20 years of being a leading international growth strategist. This session will take place in booth 1183 in Theater B.
  • 6:00 pm - Hospitality Stars of the Industry: Celebration of the Industry and After Party, on Wednesday, September 28 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. During the celebration, FRLA will honor the first responders who humbly serve the community. For tickets and more information, contact Marjorie Stone at

Thursday, September 29: Exhibit Hall open 11 am – 4 pm

  • 12:00 – 12:45 pm – Culinary Demonstration by Keith Williamson, Datz of Tuna Poke
  • 12:30 - New Product Showcase Awards – Attendees will have the chance to vote on their favorite new products throughout the show.  Awards will be presented by Show Management to the winning companies.
  • 2:00 - 2:45 pm – Culinary Demonstration by Doug Braselman, Emeril’s Orlando
  • 2:30pm - Secrets to Holding Your Management Team Accountable – presenter David Scott Peters, restaurant coach and founder of, diagnoses restaurant owners with “commonsense-it-is” when they think their managers should just know how to do things because it’s “common sense.” This session will take place in booth 1537.