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From the Editor: What’s News and What’s on Tap for Fall

I hope that after taking a month off from reading Foodservice News you’re all anxiously back turning over a new page. When I read over the issue one final time before putting it to bed (an old newspaper term), I was struck by how many stories overlap this month.

For instance, restaurateur and founder of The Taste of the NFL, Wayne Kostroski, makes an appearance in the story about the Taste of the Vikings on page 17, and then again giving advice to local restaurateurs on how to benefit from next year’s Super Bowl. Influencer Kim Ly Curry graces our cover and is mentioned again in the Vikings’ story (page 17, in case you’ve forgotten). It’s not that we’re running out of people to talk to, it’s just a nod to what a small world we live in after all. And if I’ve given any of you an earworm of that annoying Disneyland song, my apologies. 

Having an extra month between issues gives us a chance to do things we’ve been putting off for awhile. Events Editor Laura Michaels used the time to get married on a beach. I’m guessing she felt the need to be married in a foreign country solely to avoid slighting any of the caterers and restaurant owners she’s made friends with here, by not giving them her business. Our graphic designer, Steve Hamburger, had some fun with her wedding picture (see page 6).

Both Laura and I attended the National Restaurant Show in Chicago this year. Laura went to cover it for both Foodservice News and our sister publication, Franchise Times. I spent my one day there walking the aisles. I love seeing all the new products and, not surprisingly, over-sampling a hodgepodge of different kinds of food, the majority of which are fried. It’s usually a four-Tums day. 

My favorite demonstration was the guy selling cotton candy machines. The spun sugar streamed through the air to wherever the attendant was holding the cone. Or maybe it was the other way around, but it was fascinating. The best part was when I was presented my “sample,” and I discovered it was like looking in the mirror. Who knew that in addition to “apple” and “pear,” women’s shapes could be categorized as “cotton candy.”

In June I combined a vacation to NYC with work by visiting three of the city's food halls. On my way out of town, I checked out MSP airport’s new restaurant landscape. Franchised restaurants are starting to be replaced with local fare, which not only makes the airport unique, it makes it memorable.

In New York, I met the owner of a new concept, Mr. Bing, a QSR version of Chinese street food. Mr. Bing himself hired the best bing maker he could find in China to help him develop the authentic recipes. Hand-held food seems to be a must in today’s on-the-go lifestyle. One of the most unusual concepts I saw was at the Chelsea Market, Takumi Taco, a Japanese-inspired Mexican restaurant. I didn’t try one, but wondered of the wisdom of Sake Sangria. 

Another pleasant surprise was a booth selling halva for $6 per quarter pound. In case like me you didn’t know for sure what you were buying, halva is made by mixing tahini with sugar at a high temperature and then stirring in flavors, such as chocolate, pistachio or cinnamon. A glass case had at least 12 different flavors, all displayed like large rounds of cheese. Halva-bites could be added to the goat milk ice cream served in a tahini-flavored cone. The tip jar summed up my experience:, Halva Nice Day!

Get Surly with us
and win free summit tickets

We know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but come this fall, we want to beer-and-dine you at our afternoon business summit. Mark your calendars now for 4 p.m., October 25, at Surly Brewing Co., 52 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis. Our topic will be near and dear to your seats — how to get diners to notice you and to become repeat butts in seats.

You can go online and sign up, or you can try to win tickets by taking our quiz on page 13. In the spirit of "Where's Waldo," that old children's book where the title character is hidden in crowds in a variety of settings, we've hidden 10 Twin Cities culinary notables in the same size crowd we're hoping for at our summit. Be among the first five to identify all 10, and we'll give you two free tickets to our summit. Submit your guesses to:
nancyw@foodservicenews.net. Or write them on a lid of a to-go box filled with your house specialty and deliver it to me  in person. 

You're also invited to our Charlie Awards kick-off at Foodservice News World Headquarters, 2808 Anthony Lane S, Minneapolis, September 18, 4 p.m. To register for both events, go to our website. www.foodservicenews.net. See you there? 

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