NYC Fancy Food Show 2010

Once a year something magically caloric happens at the Javits Center in NYC. The convention hall is consumed by the Fancy Food Show and foodniks of all ages and appetites roam, graze and stalk down the aisles in search of some new morsel or flavor. Manufacturers and vendors ship themselves and their wares into the sweaty heat of mid-summer Manhattan to pitch their products and jockey for attention in the alarmingly expanding specialty food market.

How could I miss this?

I’m always hunting for new gluten free goodies (this is, perhaps, why I can easily spend an hour in a grocery store) and there is no better target to train my sights than the Fancy Food Show. While many of the aisles are packed with cheese and chocolate (remember when I said magically caloric?), I ducked and dodged the crowds in an effort to pick out every gluten free offering. I was stuffed.

Gluten free baking is hot. You know this. Vendors are quick to jump on the boat in an effort to sell more product and grab a growing demographic. This, unfortunately, does not always lead to innovation and creativity. Which is to say, there’s a lot of junk out there. You know this.

And so, my goal in attending this trade show was to find not only what’s new, but shine a spotlight on what I think is great. I tasted (and tasted and tasted), talked and taped for three days. I wanted to be selective, to bring you only my favorites. I can tell you without doubt that the people featured in this video are all doing fantastic work. These are foods I eat and products I use in my kitchen every day.

It’s always smile-inducing to see old friends like Rick Levine from Seth Ellis Chocolatier (check out our tour of his factory here). He’s working on some new gluten free and nut free peppermint cups and caramel cups to compliment his stunning line of chocolates and sunflower-nut butter cups. I had a chance to see Dr. Lucy of Lucy’s Cookies and she gave me a sneak taste of her new treats (if you like her cookies, get excited). Lucy and I cooked together this summer and we’ll be posting that episode in August, stay tuned!

Of course, I love meeting new people. Talking with the folks at Bob’s Red Mill was certainly a highlight. I can’t tell you how many of their products line my shelves. And have you tried Glow Gluten Free Cookies? I knew Jill (the owner/creator) from the twitterverse and it was a joy to laugh and smile and chat with her in person. Speaking of twitter, I was able to meet up with one of my favorite gluten free tweeters (@gfcrumpette). We gossiped and made mischief. Duh.

Here’s the thing of it:
Everything is in the video below. Goody Good Stuff Gummies, Edward and Sons‘ GF Ice Cream Cones, and of course, my bug-eyed trouble making face. Watch the video and watch out for these new products on your shelves.