The National Restaurant Association and The Massachusetts Restaurant Association announced the full schedule for the 2016 New England Food Show (NEFS), taking place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, March 13-15. Restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality professionals can register for NEFS for just $35 to gain valuable insight from the standouts in their field.

“The New England Food Show always offers endless opportunities for our region’s foodservice community,” says Bob Luz, Massachusetts Restaurant Association president and CEO. “And in 2016, we’re excited to share an expanded show floor, enhanced educational programming and events designed to get business done, and celebrate the hospitality industry.”

Here are 10 reasons to attend NEFS this year:

Keynote Speakers: On March 13, Joey Kramer, drummer for Aerosmith and Founder & Chairman of Rockin’ & Roastin’ coffee, teaches how to turn passion into a business. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker delivers his remarks on March 14, and touches on the restaurateurs, chefs, farmers, and hardworking individuals who bring fresh, healthy and hearty food to our tables—and their impact on both our culture and economy. 

The Star of the Bar Mixology Competition: Sponsored by Jägermeister, the Boston Regional Star of the Bar Mixology Competition showcases bartenders in the New England Region and their cocktails, with the winner heading to NRA Show in Chicago this May to participate in the National Finals. The first round of the regional competition takes place at Empire (One Marina Park Drive) on Sunday, March 13 from 6 to 8 p.m., where bartenders will mix cocktails at Toast, the official after-party of the 2016 New England Food Show. Three winners will be selected to compete in round two on the NEFS Center Stage, March 14 at 4 p.m.

The 2016 Annual Awards Dinner: On March 14, The Massachusetts Restaurant Association recognizes individuals and organizations that have exemplified leadership and excellence in the restaurant industry at a gala dinner.

Greater Boston Culinary Cook-Off: Sponsored by Costa Fruit & Ingredients and Paul W. Marks Co., Inc., three top New England chefs throw down in a heated 45 minute kitchen battle on Sunday, March 13 from 3:45 to 5 p.m. They'll use their sharp skills to create two dishes based on a mystery ingredient.

  • Chef Mitch Brumels, Executive Chef, Ocean Prime
  • Chef Greg Torrech, Executive Chef, The Beehive
  • Chef Adam Kube, Executive Chef, Bastille Kitchen

Culinary Demonstrations: Feature some of the region’s hottest culinary talent on the NEFS Center Stage sponsored by Snap Chef, including:

  • Nick Calias, Executive Chef, The Colonnade Hotel and Brasserie Jo
  • Pino Maffeo, Executive Chef, Lucia Ristorante
  • Jason Santos, Chef, Abby Lane and Back Bay Harry's
  • Carlos DaMoura, Chef, Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse
  • Nicole Barreira, Corporate Chef, T-Bones and Cactus Jack's
  • Megan Robinson, Director of Catering and Events, Great NH Restaurants
  • Paul Turano, Chef/Owner, Cook Newton and Tryst Restaurant
  • Steven Grostick, Chef, US Foods’ Food Fanatics Live 

Education Sessions: Include a thoughtfully curated program of topics from restaurant industry trend leaders and operators, with such wide-ranging insights on everything from tips for booking your private event space to trends in craft beers. Additional topics designed to engage guests include: emerging restaurant technology; best practices for training; marketing to Millennials; developing an actionable marketing plan; desserts to drive profits; seafood sustainability; and trend forecasting for 2016.

US Foods Presents Food Fanatics Live: The US Foods traveling roadshow will co-locate with NEFS on March 15. NEFS 2016 badge-holding attendees will have the opportunity to access Food Fanatics LIVE at no additional charge; likewise badged Food Fanatics Live attendees will be permitted to visit the NEFS floor 

Exhibitors: Nearly 300 exhibitors will offer up some of the latest products and services in the industry for attendees to engage with over the course of the event. The NEFS exhibit floor will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 13 to March 14, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 15.

Tech Talks & DigiTECH Bar: NEFS is laser-focused on technology in the restaurant space this year with multiple education sessions dedicated to the topic, ranging from the Top 15 must-have productivity apps to mobile payments. New this year, attendees will also be able swing by the DigiTECH Bar, which will be staffed with experts ready to tackle any and every attendee tech issue.

Alcohol Pavilion: Featuring exhibitors from the beverage alcohol and supplies industries, including such vendors as August A Busch & Co., BuzzBar, Harpoon Brewery, Serralles USA, SmartBrew, St. Kilian Importing, Stirrings.

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