Food & Beverage Event Focused on Hispanic Culture Starts Sunday in Los Angeles

Expo Comida Latina, North America's only trade event that focuses on Hispanic foods and beverages, will co-locate with the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center, August 18-20, 2013.  The event will feature hundreds of exhibiting companies, culinary demonstrations, and a complimentary education program.

"Expo Comida Latina educates retailers, distributors, and foodservice professionals on the latest trends in the growing Hispanic market. There will be exhibitors featuring authentic flavors and products from around the world, the latest trends in retail and foodservice, Culinary Demonstrations and Education Sessions, and connections in order to help businesses profit from this market segment," says Ron Mathews, Industry vice president of Reed Exhibitions, producers of the event. "We are thrilled to welcome many prestigious chefs and new exhibitors to this year's event including Fresco Food, Inc., Family Foods International, Lasco Foods, along with FUMEC, Guerrero Government, and Avoking S.A. De C.V."

Jorge Ramirez, Certified Executive Chef and TV Personality, will present Prehispanic Foods on a Modern World by demonstrating "Tlacoyo" (Tlakojo) which are stuffed with refried beans, Fava Beans, Cheese, Chicharron, or other ingredients.   "Tlacoyos" often came in different colors, from the natural color of the corn, no artificial colors  are added to its preparation.   The color comes from the cornmeal used to prepare the maza to make the "Tlacoyo".  The most common is blue, made with blue corn meal, being follow by yellow and the red corn. In addition to chef Jorge Ramirez, there will also be other chefs at the Expo Comida Latina Demonstration Theaters. These demonstrations will include:

  • Plantains: Guatemala's Sweet Desserts  will be presented by chef Mario D. Granados, owner and "Self-claimed" chef of Tikal Restaurant.  Chef Mario will prepare fried plantain turnovers stuffed with sweet black bean puree known as rellenitos and will also be making a Sweet, warm plantain drink, known as atoll de plantano .
  • Green Corn Tamales - Secret Family Recipe of El Cholo Café - chef Aleccio Leon, El Cholo Café Pasadena, will share the food trends in authentic Mexican Food.
  • Featured Recipe from Sabores Yucatecos: A Culinary Tour of the Yucatan - Chef Gilberto Cetina will be cooking all three days, showing attendees Yucatan style food. He will also be signing and selling his cookbook "Yucatecos: A Culinary Tour of the Yucatan," which is co-authored by Katharine A. Diaz. He is the Chef and owner of Chichen Itza Restaurant, which specializes in Yucatan style Mexican cuisine.
  • In addition to the Culinary Demonstration Theater, this year's Expo Comida Latina will feature complimentary education sessions giving attendees information from some of the best leaders in the retail and foodservice industry. Sessions include:
  • 18 Key Latino Food Trends That Will Impact Food Companies - Speaker Kirk Whisler, President of the Latino Print Network, will cover the consumer and demographic trends that drive food trends - and focus on what is hot within the Latino Foods segment.
  • Combating Diabetes with a Healthy Latino Diet - Moderated by Katharine A. Diaz, food writer. Phil Castellano, M.D., ABAAM and chef Gilberto Cetina, chef/owner of Chichén Itzá Restaurant will discuss what is wrong with the typical Latino diet and how to fight diabetes.
  • "Winning Restaurant Marketing Strategies to Improve Employee and Customer Relations"- Speaker Mariela Tragash, president/ CEO of Mariela Communications, La Quinta, California will provide an overview of marketing components and tactics to create a successful strategic restaurant plan to improve employee and customer relations.
  • Avoiding 5 Common Mistakes When Recruiting in the Hispanic Community- Speaker Mariela Tragash, president/CEO, Mariela Communications, La Quinta, California will discuss psychographic guidelines in relation to knowing the Hispanic market, the people, and the culture. The audience will know the dos and don'ts when hiring Latino franchisees. Mariela will also be speaking about establishing successful core restaurant marketing strategies in her other demonstrations.



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