The Expo is scheduled for January 29-30, 2017 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and will be a restaurant-centered business-to-business trade show like none other in the Midwest. Blais's keynote speech will kick off the Expo on Sunday, Jan. 29.
Richard Blais is a successful chef, restaurateur, James Beard nominated cookbook author and television personality. The Long Island-native graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and trained at The French Laundry, Daniel, Chez Panisse, and el Bulli.
Blais currently owns and operates Trail Blais, a forward-thinking culinary company that has consulted on, designed, and operated popular eateries including multiple outposts of Flip Burger Boutique. In San Diego, where he currently resides, Blais is a partner at the popular Juniper & Ivy and Crack Shack restaurants, which will be expanding to 4 locations in the coming months.
In addition to his recurring role on Bravo's Top Chef, Blais regularly appears on Food Network and may be seen this season on FOX's MasterChef and MasterChef Junior. Early 2017 will bring Blais' second cookbook, So Good (May 16, 2017), and the introduction of his new show, Man vs Master, on the FYI Network.
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More about the Expo
The Expo is 25 years in the making from the Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) and will focus on the growing use of technology in the foodservice industry. It will feature innovations in labor-saving equipment, restaurant Point of Sale systems, a food truck exhibit and franchise row, and thought leadership seminars that focus on current trends and the future of foodservice.
"Technology and consumer trends are changing rapidly," said ORA President & CEO John Barker. "Restaurant customers expect their favorite place to offer an app, deliver their food, provide healthy options and make more choices available. Our Expo will present outstanding technology and speakers to address these opportunities."
The Expo will feature multimedia demonstrations on five stages, exciting head-to-head culinary competitions, and will include thought leadership provided by industry innovators. The show is geared toward independent operators, regional chains, and is perfect for start-ups and veteran operators alike.
There will be an After Hours Networking Event at the Expo, plus opportunities to make connections on the exhibit floor, as well as a sip and sample in the Tasting Pavilion to showcase craft beers and local spirits.
Click here for more information for attendees. Potential exhibitors should click here.
About the Ohio Restaurant Association
The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA), founded in 1920, is the leading business trade association for the Ohio foodservice industry, the third-largest private sector employer in Ohio. ORA represents the interests of Ohio's $20 billion restaurant industry, comprised of 21,921 locations and more than 572,000 employees. The ORA provides its members with advocacy, information services, education and a variety of cost-saving benefits. For more information, visit www.ohiorestaurant.org.