The Metro Cooking Houston show this weekend was great fun for foodies! The Houston Chronicle was the title sponsor, and what a treat to hear Alison Cook’s ‘first’ public speaking event. Alison is an incredible writer, a fabulous food critic and turns out, she’s good at talking to a crowd. She said this Metro Cooking gig was her first speaking engagement. If you’re not a fan of her column on Chron.com, check it out.
The big star of the event, of course, was Paula. The gigantic roar of the crowd when she took the stage could be heard across the exhibit hall. Her fans are some of the most loyal of any star around. And, she’s quite engaging–very friendly y’all. BTW, did you hear she loved my jeans?
Giada was also very popular with the audience. She knows her stuff, and folks love to hear about her Italian favorites. Her gorgeous smile lights up the room before she even even speaks. But, the true stand out master of the entire weekend was Jacques Pepin. His culinary resume is unsurpassed, yet the man is incredibly humble and a quintessential gentleman. He and daughter Claudine COOKED. It wasn’t about putting on a show with this duo. It was entertainment for the ultimate foodie. Real techniques, real demonstrations. He didn’t have all the trappings of the big stars. Jacques even conducted a cooking class for the student volunteers at the show before his performance, and he graciously signed cookbooks if anyone asked. What a treat to interview this man!
Aside from the ‘star’ attractions, there was lots going on with the exhibitors. The stand out food star had to be the bacon jam at H-E-B’s booth. They took all the great savory bacon goodness, without the fat, and put it in a jar. You can cook veggies with it, shrimp, chicken…just about anything! Mixed with cream cheese it makes an incredible dip. It’s available at Cooking Connections in H-E-B stores.
Other stand outs – The Caramel Candy Co. ‘No gimmicks, no machines or copper kettles, just pure craftsmanship’ is their brand, and the yummy caramel speaks for itself. I went back for seconds.
Also on the floor, one of my very favorite chocolatiers–Araya. This River Oaks chocolate haven never disappoints. Their beautiful chocolates taste even better than they look–a rarity in that genre. I am looking forward to next year’s show!