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ORLANDO, FL, September 24, 2019 – Thousands of chefs, industry leaders, owners and operators from the restaurant and foodservice industry networked and conducted business with 400 exhibiting companies during the recent Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show and Healthy Food Expo Florida held last week in Orlando. The robust trade show and conference offered a collection of the best new foods and beverages, equipment and technology, awards presentations, education sessions, and cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs. The event is owned by Clarion UX and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

“We were pleased to welcome so many industry professionals to the largest gathering for the foodservice industry in the Southeast,  giving them the opportunity to source new food and beverage, technology and equipment products, learn from dozens of industry experts and network with their peers,” said Tom Loughran, Vice President for the Clarion UX Food & Beverage Group.  “We thank our partner, the FRLA, our exhibitors, sponsors, media, speakers, and attendees who helped to make this recent event such a success.” 

Highlights of the event include:

  • The exhibit hall offered new products and innovations from 400 exhibiting companies covering 90,000 square feet.  The Clarion UX staff arranged over 100 meetings for their MATCH! Program, and 100+ meetings between multi-unit restaurant and foodservice operators with participating exhibitors and suppliers.
  • The Torch Award was presented to Orlando based Julie & James Petrakis, culinary leaders spearheading Orlando’s burgeoning food movement with multiple concepts in Orlando, including: The Ravenous Pig (2007), Cask & Larder (2012); The Polite Pig (2017), and their newest venture The Ravenous Pig Brewing Company (2019) for their outstanding knowledge and leadership, philanthropic and community efforts, extraordinary talent, creativity, innovation and inspiration.
  • Mareya Ibrahim, Author, Holistic Food Chef, and Inventor moderated the Foodservice Council for Women panel discussion with a dynamic group of women including Nora Galdiano, CEC, chef and consultant; Paula DaSilva, Executive Chef at The Ritz Carlton; Jeannie Pierola, Chef Owner at Edison: Food + Drink Lab; Trina Gregory-Propst, Chef/Owner of Se7enbites/SETTE; Isabel Laessig, ‘Family Foodie,’ Founder of Sunday Supper Movement; and Heather McPherson, Food Publicist, 2019 Beacon Award Recipient.
  • Center Stage was packed all three days of the event and featured culinary demonstrations from renowned chefs including Mareya Ibrahim, Giorgio Rapicavoli, Guillermo Pernot, Roberto Treviño, John Rivers, Kristy Carlucci, and Shaun O’Neale.
  • Chef Chris Dancesia, Owner/Chef, Nick's Bistro won $1,000 for the Rapid Fire Challenge: Meatless Monday Edition.  Chris’ recipe featured Summer Squash and Rice Noodle with Caribbean Gremolata and Coconut Oil. 
  • Garett Hagan of The Twisted Tuna won the Hip Sip: Battle of the Modern Bartender Competition – Rum Edition for his drink Sustainable Paradise. The event was sponsored by Bar Business Magazine.
  • The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show offered 40+ education sessions on operational excellence, marketing & social media, hot trends and building a winning team, plus several workshops.
  • The ACF Central Florida Chapter held several Culinary Arts Competitions including the Scott Joseph “Next Big Thing” Sous Chef Competition; the 2019 State of Florida ProStart “Best Grilled Cheese”; the Pork Signature Recipe Competition, the Duck Signature Recipe Competition, the Wedding Cake; and the Chocolate & Sugar Centerpiece and Pastillage and Marzipan competitions.
  • The Healthy Food Expo Florida was a highlight of the event and focused on healthy, natural and organic food products. Attendees had access to a new “Healthy” conference program that educated restaurant, foodservice and retail professionals about the newest trends and practices in the health food industry- everything from gluten-free and allergen-free to vegan, vegetarian and plant-based foods and products.
  • The Ice Pro Invitational Exhibition featured World Champions Dawson List and Chuck Avery from New Orleans; Ben Rand and Rob Heminger  from Palm Beach; Drue Brandenburg and David from Miami; Victor Dagaton and Kenny the Kilt from Orlando; and Ricky Lopez and Team Partner from Rosen as well as additional Assistance provided by- Tres Theis, Josh Pantoja, Jose Pena, Kristi Pen

The 2020 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show and Healthy Food Expo Florida will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL  Tuesday, September 22 and Wednesday, September 23. The  Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show and Healthy Food Expo are produced and managed by Clarion UX, and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.  For more information, visit

About Clarion UX Restaurant & Foodservice Shows

The shows are owned and managed by Clarion UX ( and sponsored by the California Restaurant Association.  Clarion  UX produces several other foodservice events including Coffee Fest PNW will take place Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center; The NGA Show taking place February 23-26, 2020 at the San Diego Convention Center; the  International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York which will be co-located with the Healthy Food Expo and Coffee Fest and will be held Sunday, March 8 - Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at the Javits Center in New York; and Coffee Fest Chicago taking place Thursday, June 25 through Sunday, June 28, 2020 at Navy Pier in Chicago; and The 2020 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA Sunday, August 9 through Tuesday, August 11.  For more information on exhibiting or attending future events visit the official Show website at