I've done a serious tour of food and nutrition expos and conferences this year. I hit Natural Products Expo East, FNCE and for the first time I've finally been lucky enough to go to the DC Metro Cooking Show (Thanks to Kristy from Wicked Noodle for tickets!). The DC Cooking Show is a mid-sized event with vendors, mini lectures and a celebrity cooking stage. Compared to Expo East, it's a blip in the radar which is why I'm calling this 'mid-sized'. There are tons of food bites to sample but more to buy. Unfortunately, it seemed like the event coordinators should have realized the majority of their vendors were all selling sauces, which doesn't make for a diverse eating experience. But that being said, and I'll stop being a big terrible food show snob now, it's worth going to see the cooking segments hosted by the likes of Giada, Mike Symon and more.

Here are my top favorite finds and moments:

  • District Doughnuts: There are fresh doughnuts coming to DC and they will sell out before you know what hit you. The doughnut gentlemen were doing so well, they were only selling and giving samples of doughnuts in 15 minute increments. So while I never actually got to hold a doughnut, I know this will be a hit.
  • I watched Jeff Mauro, aka Sandwich King/Food Network Star winner, and he was a flat out riot. It was a relief to see quick wit and actual cooking knowledge translate off camera.(At the same time, this is when I unwillingly realized Jeff Mauro is a Brendan Fraser look alike.) Jeff's segment was on making pretzel rolls with pickled toppings and sausage.
  • Frozen Wine. Do I really need to elaborate here? Frappe Vino has a mix that you add to wine (or liquor) and freeze for the perfect cocktail texture.
  • Bloomery Plantation & Distillery is right over the VA/WV boarder. Their tagline is 'History, Hooch and Hospitality', serving limoncello and live music. This is a fieldtrip I plan on taking very soon.

Have you been to the cooking show before? Would you go again?