Thousands of restaurant and foodservice industry professionals are expected to attend the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center Aug. 18-20.

The trade show and conference is sponsored by the California Restaurant Association — a partner of the National Restaurant Association. Event highlights include:

  • Food Trends Experience: This event provides access to product, flavors and ingredients driving the most recent trends in the market — healthy, organic, sustainable, ethnic and more.
  • Sysco Shape — Healthy & Nutritious Items for Children: Join Sysco at the Food Trends Demonstration Theater to learn more about healthy menu choices for children. Sysco has teamed up with the Kids LiveWell program to show attendees how to join their efforts, taking place Aug. 20.
  • Culinary Clash: Battle Los Angeles: This cooking competition among restaurant teams raises money for high school culinary arts education and is sponsored by Coca-Cola. Restaurant company corporate chefs and executives will team with a ProStart student to prepare an amuse bouche and an entrée in 45 minutes using only two butane burners.
  • Rising Star Mystery Box Challenge: Brad Metzger Restaurant Solutions presents the Rising Star Chef Mystery Box Challenge, where southern California's top rising chefs will battle it out with mystery ingredients in competition. Chefs will only have 20 minutes to cook their best dish.
  • Expo Comida Latina: According to a news release, this is the only industry trade event focused on the Hispanic retail and foodservice markets. Expo Comida Latina focuses on authentic Hispanic ingredients, prepared foods, and private label products.
  • CRA's Health Care Resources: The California Restaurant Association (CRA) is bringing its team of national, state, and local experts to the Expo to answer questions about preparing for the health care reform.
  • US Foods Cook with Food Fanatics: A new feature area on the show floor will be the US Foods "Cook with Food Fanatics" featuring their Food Fanatics Chef Aaron Williams, US Foods Chef Kelly Anderson, and Chefs Penny Davidi and Rahm Fama.
  • Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum: Sample the new education menu at the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum, which provides educational content that is practical and relevant for today's foodservice professional.
  • The Ultimate Barista Challenge USA: Watch as professional baristi face challengers on the exhibition floor where they prepare their signature espresso beverages for a panel of judges.

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